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  • Jordan Szwarz catching up and catching on

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    Jordan Szwarz catching up and catching on

    Jake Kerin December 14, 2017

    Very rarely do you ever hear of a 26-year-old pro still developing and adapting to the professional game. Many by this time have already hit their peak and established themselves as a full-time NHLer or a lifetime minor-leaguer.

    But Jordan Szwarz is a bit of an exception. Despite now being in his late-20’s, Szwarz is still growing and maturing as a player and is still making his case to be a regular in the NHL ranks.

    In his second year in the Bruins organization, the 2009 fourth-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes has quickly staked himself as one of the team’s leaders in terms of point production.

    Last season, his best in the AHL to date, Szwarz led the P-Bruins in goals (22) and points (54) while placing second in assists (32) and plus/minus (plus-20). Szwarz was also a key factor in Providence’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals last Spring, playing in all 17 playoff games and collecting 6-5-11 totals.

    Aside from the numbers, the timing of Szwarz’s points was especially noteworthy. Szwarz found the back of the net twice in the P-Bruins’ 4-2 Game 7 win over Hershey in the semis. In Game 2 of the Conference Finals vs. Syracuse, Szwarz struck twice again, with the second coming in overtime to snap and eight-game postseason overtime losing streak for Providence and even the series at one game apiece. Szwarz also assisted Danton Heinen’s pair of goals that lifted Providence to a 2-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the deciding Game 5 of their first round series.

    Szwarz’s clutch play has carried over into this season. Just this past weekend, Szwarz potted two clutch goals – the first coming on Friday night vs. Hartford. Szwarz struck with 40 seconds remaining to tie the game at 3-3 and eventually force overtime. Providence proceeded to pull out a 4-3 shootout victory over their Atlantic Division rivals.

    “It was a six-on-five situation with the goalie pulled. It was a good entry that we made and JFK [Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson] drove to the net. We were fortunate to get a good bounce and the puck landed right on my stick and I just kind of threw it on net and it went in,” Szwarz said of the goal.

    The following night, Szwarz would end the game 3:19 into overtime with a power-play tally to lift the Baby B’s to a 3-2 home win against the Utica Comets.

    “It was a four-on-three, a situation you want to be in in overtime, and we took a timeout,” Szwarz said about Saturday’s game-winner. “We got a breather and drew up a play and we executed it perfectly.”

    Providence swept the weekend homestand with another overtime win, 4-3, over Utica on a brilliant between-the-legs goal by Kenny Agostino just 26 seconds into the extra frame.

    As he has shown over these last two AHL seasons, Szwarz is capable of elevating his game and kicking it into another gear when the lights are the brightest as evident during his string of call-ups with Boston.

    “The biggest thing is confidence,” Szwarz said, “I’ve been playing some good minutes down here in Providence and playing some big roles and that’s really helped my confidence over the last year-and-a-half and I did enough to earn a call-up. That’s a situation I’ve been waiting for for a long time and when you get up there [to Boston] you don’t want to stress yourself out too much and play with confidence.”

    Szwarz was first called up on Nov. 1 and made his Bruins debut the following day vs. Vegas. The veteran picked up a pair of assists during the Bruins’ 5-3 win over Minnesota on Nov. 6 and picked up another helper in the Bruins’ overtime defeat in Toronto four days later.

    “He hasn’t really looked out of place while he’s up there,” BruinsNetwork.com’s Anthony Kwetkowski observed of Szwarz. “Very rarely do you see someone of his age still develop as a pro. In Providence, you don’t really see him jump out at you but in Boston, he fits right in.”

    “The way I was playing down here it opened some eyes up there,” Szwarz said about his time in Boston, “and that’s the best thing I can do is play the same way and hopefully another opportunity will arise.”

    Given his development in Providence, Szwarz’s next opportunity in Boston could come sooner, rather than later.

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