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The Bruins defense will give Ulmark a chance to thrive

At the beginning of entering the free agency market, it was obvious Boston Bruins A senior goalkeeper will need to be signed. Jeremy Swayman has only entered his second year and is not ready to take full control of the net.Dan Vladar since then Traded to the Calgary Flames, And lack of NHL experience.With Tuukka Rask becoming an unrestricted free agent and facing offseason surgery, this will Keep him away from the ice until January At the earliest, the team needs to bring in someone who can become a starter when the hockey drops in October.

This is where Linus Ulmark Come in.The 28-year-old Swede has been with the NHL throughout his career Buffalo Sabre So far, as everyone in the hockey world knows, this has not been the easiest place to play in the past ten years.Despite this, he strung together several good seasons and won him A four-year contract worth 20 million U.S. dollars The average annual value is 5 million U.S. dollars.

The road to NHL

Ulmark was born in Lugnvik, Sweden on July 31, 1993. He played youth hockey in his native Sweden. He started playing in the J18 Elitserien League, playing for Kramfors-Alliansen, and then switched to MODO Hockey. In the 2011-12 season, he played 25 games for the MODO hockey J20 team, with a record of 14-11-0, a save success rate of 0.918 and a total of 2.76 goals.

Ulmark was selected by the Sabres with the 163rd overall pick in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL entry-level draft.He was praised Have good composure and athletic ability In the scout report. He continued to play in Sweden after being selected and even participated in 8 senior league games in the 2012-13 season. That year, he was also a member of the World Youth Championship team where the Swedish team won the silver medal.

Former member of the Buffalo Sabres, Linus Ulmark (Anders Wiklund / TT via AP)

In the 2013-14 season, at the age of 20, he became Modo’s official starter. In 35 games, he achieved a 2.08 GAA and 0.931 save rate with a 17-16-0 record. He also recorded five lockouts. At the end of the season, he won the league goalkeeper of the year award, the Honken Trophy. In May 2014, he signed an entry-level contract with Buffalo. Nevertheless, he was on loan in Sweden for a season.

In the 2015-16 season, Ulmark made his NHL debut. That season, he played 20 games with the Sabres in the American Hockey League (AHL) and 28 games with the Rochester Americans.

Buffalo Blues

In the 2015-16 season, the 22-year-old Ulmark played 20 games for the Sabres. He has a record of 8 wins and 10 losses, but despite losing the game record, his statistics are still good, with a save rate of 0.913 and a GAA of 2.60, which brings him close to the average level of NHL goalkeepers.

Despite the good performance of the NHL, he played in the AHL for most of the 2016-17 season. In 55 games played for the Americans, he scored a total of 2.87 and a total of 0.909. Ulmark played in Rochester again for most of the 2017-18 season, playing only five games in Buffalo. He took a step forward that year, increasing his statistics to 2.44 GAA and 0.922 SV%. He was selected to the AHL All-Star Game in both seasons.

The 2018-19 season is the first season for Ulmark to fully play in the NHL. Although he played for the Sabres team twice in the Atlantic Division won 6th place, and last season in the Eastern Division ranked last, but he still performed well with little help from other members of the team and facing injury problems.His most recent injury was a lower body injury, which has kept him out for the past few weeks. 2020-21 season.

Linus Ulmark Buffalo Sabre
Linus Ulmark, former Buffalo Sabres (Jess Starr/Hockey writer)

Ulmark was one of the few highlights of Buffalo in recent seasons and managed to steal the game for them. They have been negotiating for his return, but in the end, he chose to sign with Boston and is considered to be the starter at the beginning of the 2021-22 season in just a few weeks.

What did he bring to Boston

Don’t let Buffalo’s performance in recent seasons affect your perception of Ulmark, he is a very talented goalkeeper. Last season, He is fourth out of 51 goalkeepers At least 800 minutes of 5 vs. 5 matches, the SV% was 0.937, and the number of goals was 9.13, which was above average. He solved the problem with a rather weak blue line in front of him.

Boston still has some question marks in terms of defensive players, but it is certainly much better than the Sabres last season. Considering what he can almost do, the Bruins’ blue line will provide him with some much-needed support. He should be able to play better numbers this season, especially if he can stay healthy. This may really be an opportunity for him to blossom and thrive.

Ulmark is a big, athletic goalkeeper who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and has excellent maneuverability in the penalty area. At 28 years old, he is still quite young, but brings the NHL experience that the Bruins initially lacked when facing Swayman and Vladar at the beginning of the offseason. They need to bring other people in, and they really used the people they got to drive it out of the park.

My biggest concern about Ulmark is the duration of his contract. For someone who has struggled with injuries, four years seems a bit long. In addition, if Swiman can really perform as well as he did in his small sample last season, then it may not take him four years to be ready to take over as a starter, and they may be looking for an expensive substitute that is the fourth. year.

Of course, when it comes to the Bruins goalkeeper situation, there is also the question of Lask. When he returned from injury, the door to his return at some point this season was not closed. If this were the case, then people would think that he and Ullmark were in tandem, and Swaymen was sent to Providence.

Nevertheless, if he is signed for four years to bring Ulmark to the Bears, then this is a necessary risk. I would not say that the team scored better than last season, because Lask was one of the best goalkeepers in the past decade. However, there is no question mark the same as in June. Ulmark is fully capable of becoming a reliable starter in the NHL, and this season really has the opportunity to improve his reputation in a true playoff competition team.

Be sure to check out the rest of my introduction Free agent signing for the BruinsAnd read all about hockey writers 2021-22 Bruins season forecast.

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