25-Year-Old Goalie – Toronto Maple Leafs
Calvin Pickard Contract Information:
Re-signed a two-year contract with the Avalanche in July of 2016.
Pickard was brought in by Toronto via a trade with Vegas on Friday, in exchange for Tobias Lindberg and a 2018 sixth-round pick.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Pickard had himself another solid season in just his second year as a pro in 2015-16, posting a 7-6-1 record with a .922 save percentage, 2.56 GAA and one shutout. The 24-year-old outperformed his counterpart, Semyon Varlamov, albeit in a much smaller sample size. Despite the excellent numbers as Colorado's No. 2 option, Pickard is just that: a backup. The New Brunswick native may be safe from dropping down to the minors, where he performed admirably, but noticeably worse when comparing his production in the big leagues. Pickard could push for more starts this season, but really only becomes a useable asset if Varlamov happens to get injured again.
Pickard was very impressive in 16 appearances with the Avalanche last season, posting a .932 save percentage. While Semyon Varlamov is locked into the starting role, Pickard already appears to be a more trusted backup option than Reto Berra, who only made 19 appearances with the big club last season despite enjoying sound health. Even so, the one-way nature of Berra's deal will make it difficult for Pickard to open the upcoming season with an NHL job in hand, likely forcing the 23-year-old to head back to the AHL. Berra may be ahead on the depth chart for now, but if he again fails to earn the faith of coach Patrick Roy, Pickard could steal some crease time in Colorado. He’s got just 13 NHL starts under his belt, but Pickard is one of the more young and promising goaltenders out there. He’s not a guy you would probably spend a draft pick on in most fantasy leagues, but rather someone to pick up if either of the Avs’ other two goalies sees their fortune change for the worse.
Pickard was called upon as a spot backup in 2012-13 whenever one of the Avs' top goalies was sidelined with an injury. Pickard is the top goalie on the AHL roster and will see most of his starts there this season. The Avs goaltending was one of the worst in the NHL last season, so if there's continued trouble in Denver, Pickard could see some starts at the NHL level. Right now, he's not worth stashing on deep dynasty rosters -- he needs opportunity and a better team at the NHL level to make him desirable.
Pickard was selected by Colorado with the 49th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He is expected to return to the WHL for another season or two before turning pro.