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BHN Puck Links: Could Ullmark Be Breakout Guy For Boston Bruins?

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Could newly signed goaltender Linus Ullmark be a breakout player for the Boston Bruins?

That’s what FOH Greg Wyshynski is thinking over at ESPN.com as he looks at the top 10 potential breakout players for next season. It’s an interesting choice above Erik Haula, Nick Foligno or even Derek Forbort, who will no doubt play heavy minutes for the Black and Gold. There’s no denying the talent with the 28-year-old Ullmark, who certainly looks the part as a 6-foot-4, 215-pound goaltender that still managed to put together a career .912 save percentage while toiling in Buffalo over the last three plus NHL seasons.

And there is very clearly a Buffalo bounce where players act, and play, like they’ve been let out of hockey jail once they escape from the Sabres organization. Just look at the way Taylor Hall played with the Boston Bruins once he arrived after the trade deadline last season as Exhibit A of that particular phenomenon.

But there’s also a very good defensive system with the Boston Bruins in place that has allowed Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak to flourish over the years, and Ullmark could be a big time beneficiary of that system. As Wysh put it very succinctly in his piece, “This feels like an NFL team taking a solid quarterback from a mediocre team, sticking him in a time-tested system and watching him turn into an All-Pro.”

It remains to be seen how much playing time Ullmark is going to wrest away from standout rookie Jeremy Swayman once the 2021-22 NHL season gets going, but any rookie falters from the phenom in his first year could open the door for Ullmark.

Either way, it’s a really interesting dynamic that Ullmark is walking into and a dramatic change for the Black and Gold after it being Tuukka Time in Boston for more than a decade. Perhaps we’re all underestimating just how much of an impact Ullmark could have with the B’s this season once the Big Swedish goalie is up and running.

Now on to the BHN Puck Links:

*Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid have new positions in the Boston Bruins organization, and are looking to promote the winning culture that’s been in Boston since their time suiting up for the Black and Gold. (Boston Hockey Now)

*What is Dmitry Orlov going to bring to the table for the Washington Capitals next season? It’s absolutely a question worth asking. (Washington Hockey Now)

*This story of a visually-impaired Canadian hockey player skating across Canada is pretty darn amazing. (Vancouver Hockey Now)

*Adam Erne may be the best under-the-radar acquisition for the Detroit Red Wings for this coming season. Stevie Y is putting in the time in Hockeytown. (Detroit Hockey Now)

*Nothing more precious than TJ Oshie taking his toddler son out on skates for the first time.

*Do you think Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin is bothering by threats of the KHL from his unsigned Russian superstar Kirill Kaprizov? Think again. (TSN)

*A great Torts story from NHL journeyman Matt Calvert that really tells the story about the fiery hockey coach.

*For something completely different: Why did Finn Jones fail as Iron Fist? Umm, because he was terrible. (Geekosity)

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Orrfan

Ullmark might well be a “breakout” goalie on a defensively sound and structured team. Not sure it means much on a team without a 2nd line center, especially considering what Krejci and Bergeron mean to this defensive system. But OK. We’ll see how it plays out.

Todd

Hope he works out. He’s “toiled in Buffalo for the last 3 seasons” but only started 88 games during that time. In fact, he’s only started 112 games in his entire career. He’s never been to the playoffs nor has he ever faced any serious pressure floundering in Buffalo so we have no idea how he’ll handle Boston nor the playoffs. He’s also frequently injured. All this for the bargain price of 5 million for 4 years even though he’s never been paid more than 2.6 per year. To put this in perspective, Grubauer, a 2021 Vezina finalist, is getting… Read more »

Rick W Murray

Ullmark could be the sleeper in all this, Foligno, Huala the other guy. Busts. Ullmark could be the catch.

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