After ranking the pro forward prospects in the Boston Bruins organization previously, the series continues with a closer look at the young defensemen and goaltenders under NHL contract.
Listing criteria is that the player must be signed with Boston on an NHL contract and eligible for the 2015-21 NHL Entry Drafts, with fewer than 50 career NHL games played (20 for goalies). They are ranked subjectively based on long-term NHL potential, not how close they are to reaching that level.
One of Boston’s top prospects at any position is goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Though he played 10 NHL games with the B’s at the end of his rookie pro season in 2020-21, he still fits the criteria to be ranked with his younger peers. He is on the verge of graduating from prospect status as the current backup to Linus Ullmark entering the 2021-22 campaign.
On defense, there are several players with the chance to play NHL games this season and eventually make a run at sticking on the Boston roster. There isn’t a lot of room on the big club at present, but the depth is relatively thin, and if injuries impact the blue line as was the case a year ago, Jack Ahcan and Urho Vaakanainen are the likely candidates to go up.
This is how we rank and project the pro/AHL defensemen and goaltenders in Boston’s system.