He may not have fairly the cachet of Jack Studnicka or Jakub Lauko as an uber-prospect for the Bruins. Simply by advantage of not being drafted or taking part in ahead, younger goaltender Kyle Keyser is extra of a blip on the radar display as one other younger B’s participant headed right into a key developmental 12 months with the group.
Keyser, like Studnicka and Lauko, didn’t participate within the on-ice portion of this summer time’s growth camp and solely performed in a single regular-season recreation for the Windfall Bruins within the AHL on the finish of this previous season. That got here after Keyser, 20, posted a .915 save share and a couple of.75 goals-against common in his last common season with the Oshawa Generals and preceded a run for the younger goalie as a part of the Black Aces on this spring’s Stanley Cup playoff run.
“The playoff time in Oshawa was one thing really superior to expertise,” stated Keyser, who posted a sterling .925 save share in Oshawa’s 15-game run via the Memorial Cup playoffs. “Being with these guys in my first lengthy playoff run and the camaraderie of being in a gaggle taking part in for each other was one thing particular. It was nice to be round.”
It’s additionally one thing for Keyser to construct on as he enters the primary season of a three-year, entry-level contract signed with Boston again in Oct. 2017 after the 6-foot-2, 180-pound goalie from Coral Springs, Fla., took half in B’s growth camp as a free-agent prospect.
Now could be an exceedingly attention-grabbing time for the younger puck-stopper because the Bruins boasted among the finest goaltending tandems within the NHL final season in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Definitely, it was academic for Keyser to get an up-front seat to the best way Rask carried out whereas serving to deliver the B’s all the best way to Recreation 7 of the Cup Ultimate with an excellent couple of months within the postseason.
It’s very seemingly that would be the similar NHL tandem for Boston once more this 12 months with Rask and Halak signed for subsequent 12 months and Rask signed for one more season at $7 million afterward.
“Being right here on the finish of the season and being round these guys at playoff time was unimaginable,” stated Keyser, who has primarily been a Black Ace observe goalie with the Bruins in every of their final two postseasons. “Being on the Backyard for each recreation and seeing the ambiance provides you chills whether or not it was the primary recreation or the final one.
“Watching Tuukka each single recreation, all people noticed the efficiency he put up within the playoffs. Simply studying from each single minute with him and watching him as carefully as doable, it was an unimaginable expertise. It was in all probability among the finest goaltending performances that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and perhaps of all time. To witness that in particular person was one thing particular. You don’t take that as a right.”
One factor not below debate: The function of “goalie of the longer term” within the Bruins group is totally up for grabs headed into this season and Keyser will likely be in that blend.
Definitely, Keyser and Daniel Vladar, 21, will each be competing to be that man within the AHL subsequent season with free-agent signee Max Lagace round because the veteran mentor. The 6-5 Vladar, coming off a disappointing 12 months the place he posted an .898 save share in his first full AHL season, is getting into the ultimate 12 months of his entry-level contract with the Black and Gold.
There’s additionally Jeremy Swayman additional down the organizational depth chart whereas nonetheless in growth because the No. 1 goalie for the College of Maine, however he’s years away from probably pushing into the NHL image.
All three will get an opportunity to point out they is perhaps worthy of being Rask’s backup in 2020-21 when Halak has presumably moved on, and the B’s are getting a lot nearer to deciding on Tuukka’s future in Boston.
It’s going to be Keyser’s time to step up and push into the Bruins’ organizational image and present that there’s a possible younger possibility for Boston ought to accidents, or one thing else, create an NHL goaltending opening. It’s uncertain there can be any type of state of affairs, aside from damage, that may create a goalie want in Boston this season, however one can’t rule something out within the long-term future given Boston’s tight salary-cap scenario.
It’s the precise type of alternative that Keyser is hoping to run with as he enters his first full professional season with the B’s group.
“To get with the power and conditioning guys and with the diet [staff] is nice any time of 12 months, however much more now in the summertime while you’re making an attempt to get stronger,” stated Keyser. “You’re making an attempt to get stronger and put your self in the very best place to succeed subsequent 12 months. I need to be certain I’m doing the whole lot to verify I’m contemporary and able to go when subsequent season begins.”
It will likely be a huge, first impression-type season for Keyser subsequent 12 months. Getting via growth camp final month was one of many hurdles in on the point of seize the second, however there’s an extended method to go for Keyser and the remainder of Boston’s younger goalie crew.
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