After the Boston Bruins signed Linus Ullmark to a long-term deal, it was clear that one of the team’s young duo of Jeremy Swayman and Dan Vladar would have to go. It didn’t take long to make a decision, as Vladar is on his way to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick.
The 23-year-old Vladar made his regular season debut this year, playing in five games for the Bruins. He posted an .886 save percentage during those appearances, but still looked like he might have an NHL future with the Bruins before long. Tuukka Rask is getting older and was facing a long rehab from hip surgery, while veteran backup Jaroslav Halak was moving on from the team. The third-round pick had plenty of AHL success to show for his time in the organization, including a league-best .936 save percentage in 2019-20.
The moment that Boston signed Ullmark though, everything changed, and Vladar will now have to prove his worth all over again to a new team. Still, that may be a blessing for the young netminder, who moves into a Calgary depth chart as the potential NHL backup. The team has prospect Dustin Wolf that looks to have a bright future, but he’s at least a few years away from pushing for NHL playing time. Vladar can instead slide in right behind starter Jacob Markstrom and attempt to establish himself as a backup at the highest level.
Landing a third-round pick for a promising young goaltender might not be ideal, but at least the Bruins got something of value back from a tight situation. Vladar is not waiver-exempt any longer, meaning they potentially could have lost him for nothing at the start of the season. While they won’t get back all the hours and money spent developing him, at least they recoup the pick they used to select him in 2015.