On Wednesday, July 2, the Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the team had signed goaltender Jeremy Smith to a one-year, two-way contract. The 25-year-old, Michigan native played for the Springfield Falcons—Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate—during the 2013-14 season where he earned 21-14-3 record while posting a 2.78 goal against average and .898 save percentage.
Prior to joining Columbus’ organization, Smith played in the American Hockey League in Nashville’s system with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2009 to 2013. Smith’s best season, where he had 31 wins, 2.17 goals against average and .922 save percentage was during his 2011-12 season with Milwaukee.
Drafted in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators, Smith spent part of his career in the ECHL with the Cincinnati Cyclones from 2009 to 2011. While with the Cyclones, he was a member of the Kelly Cup-winning 2009-10 team.
Some may be wondering why the Bruins have signed the 6’0” 178-pound goalie given the depth in goaltending they have with Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg and Malcolm Subban and others in the system. However, given Chiarelli’s comments during his Free Agency media conference call on Tuesday, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
“I think [Svedberg]’s almost ready, if not ready. It doesn’t mean he gets the job; it doesn’t mean we won’t add somebody at some point to challenge him,” said Chiarelli. “He’s got some areas in his game he has to improve, but we had calls on him from other teams. He’s certainly going to challenge for a spot.”
It is more likely that Smith will see some quality time with the Providence Bruins in the coming season, sharing goalie duties with Subban. However, Smith is likely to bring his A-game and do his best to take that back-up slot from Svedberg.