Linus Ullmark was born on July 31, 1993 in Lugnvik, Sweden. As a 15-year-old goaltender, Ullmark played 14 games in his native country for the Kramfors-Alliansen Junior-18 Elite team posting a 3.93 goals against average, and a .895 save percentage. In 2009-10, Ullmark would change teams to MODO Junior-18, posting similar numbers. It was in 2010-11 that the big netminder began showing promise with MODO by posting a 2.05 GAA and .925 save percentage. Midseason, Ullmark joined the MODO Junior-20 Super Elite team as an 18-year-old and became a legitimate National Hockey League draft prospect.
Ullmark would continue to play for MODO Super Elite-20 for the next two seasons before joining MODO of the Swedish Hockey League in 2013-14, where he posted a 2.08 GAA and .931 save percentage. The Swedish goaltender would play five games for Sweden in the U-20 World Junior Championships that same season.
Linus Ullmark Drafted 163rd Overall By Buffalo
The 6-foot-4 goaltender was drafted in the sixth round (163rd overall) by the Buffalo Sabres. Ullmark was the 17th goaltender taken in that draft. Although the left-catch goalie was taken in a late round, his size and poise as a goaltender were attractive to NHL scouts, and Buffalo felt Ullmark was worth drafting as a project. The scout on Linus from Curtis Joe of eliteprospects.com was “A conservative, yet athletic, reactionary-type goalie who plays in a positional style most closely linked to the modern battle-fly. Doesn’t get rattled, doesn’t take risks, and gets the job done in pressure situations. Possesses very good rebound control.”
Ullmark’s NHL Debut To Today
On October 24, 2015, Linus Ullmark made his NHL debut for the Buffalo Sabres against the New Jersey Devils at home. Ullmark had surgery on both hips that April and had returned for just three games with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, where he shined with a .932 save percentage. The Sabres lost that night, 4-3, and Ullmark made 24 saves but did allow two late-period goals in the loss. At the time, Ullmark was just 22 years old but already making a good impression on the Sabres organization. He would play 20 games with the parent club that year with a 2.60 GAA.
Ullmark would play 117 games with a struggling Buffalo team and post a .912 save percentage and a winning record of 50-47-13. The Boston Bruins would sign Ullmark to a four-year, $20 million deal before the 2021-22 season. The big Swede has shared time with young Bruins prospect Jeremy Swayman and developed a great friendship with his netminding partner, including “goalie hugs” that have become famous in Boston after victories. After 48 games with Boston, Ullmark is an impressive 32-10-2 with a GAA of 2.34 and a .921 save percentage, making him a valuable signing for Boston. This season, Linus is 6-0-0 in net for Boston and has currently taken over the number one goalie position on the team, and there are no signs of relinquishing it at age 29.