Jeremy Swayman, who made his debut with the Bruins in the playoffs, will be competing for the top goalie spot in the 2021-22 season. Credit: Nick Wass / AP

Like his fellow Alaskans, Boston Bruins goaltender and former University of Maine All-American Jeremy Swayman has been fishing, hiking and mountain biking this summer.

He has also been skating and working out in his native Anchorage after turning in an outstanding rookie year following his call-up from the AHL’s Providence Bruins. The Alaska landscape hasn’t changed much. That of the Bruins has changed dramatically.

Tuukka Rask, a 34-year-old who has been a regular in goal for the Bruins for the last 12 seasons, is a free agent this offseason and will be sidelined until early next year by hip surgery. His tandem partner, veteran Jaroslav Halak has signed with the Vancouver Canucks.

Rask’s injury and Halak’s pandemic issues opened the door for Swayman, 22, and his Providence cohort, 23-year-old Dan Vladar, to receive playing time with Boston. Swayman shone in limited action this season, posting a 1.50 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage to go with a 7-3 record. He backed up a hobbled Rask in the playoffs.

Swayman has more competition after the Bruins signed 28-year-old Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to a four-year contract worth $5 million per year. The Swede was 9-6-3 with a 3.26 GAA and a .917 save percentage for the worst team in the NHL this past season.

As the 2019-20 winner of the Mike Richter Award, which goes to the nation’s best collegiate goalie, Swayman said he was flattered by the Bruins’ decision to let him compete for the starting job and hopes to validate their decision with another strong year.

“That said a lot to me. It puts me in [a] good position,” Swayman said. “I want them to have trust in me. I’m going to do whatever I can to win games.”

The Bruins’ training camp begins next month. He is looking forward to meeting Ullmark and battling for playing time with him, adding that he hopes Rask will return to the team as well.

The 6-foot-3, 187-pound Swayman, a fourth round draft pick (111th overall) of the Bruins in 2017, earns $925,000 per year on his rookie contract. He signed in 2020 after his junior year at Orono, when he was named one of three Hat Trick finalists for the Hobey Baker Award given to the nation’s top college player after registering an 18-11-5 record.

He said the biggest difference between college and professional hockey is the pace. Offensive players often park at the far post and goalies must read the cross-ice space and be ready to push off from near post to the far post to make the save.

“In pro hockey, the most dangerous guy is the guy without the puck,” he said. “You have to track the puck and know where all five guys are on the ice.”

Swayman said he will miss Vladar and Halak because they were good teammates and people. He added that he will also miss 24-year-old defenseman Jeremy Lauzon, who was left unprotected in the expansion draft and was selected by the Seattle Kraken, where he will debut this coming season.

“He was one of my best friends. He was an outdoorsy guy like me,” Swayman said. “But that’s a good opportunity for him.”