Lianne Fleischer

Written by Lianne Fleischer

Modified & Updated: 17 Jul 2024


Calvin Pickard stands as a testament to dedication and skill in the world of professional ice hockey. Born on April 15, 1992, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, this goaltender has carved a niche for himself through sheer perseverance and talent. From his early days in the minor leagues to his current status in the NHL, Pickard's journey is nothing short of inspiring. For fans and aspiring athletes alike, understanding his career offers valuable insights into the makings of a sports professional. In this blog post, we'll delve into 19 intriguing facts about Calvin Pickard, shedding light on his achievements, challenges, and the qualities that make him a standout figure in ice hockey. Whether you're a die-hard hockey fan or simply curious about the stories behind the athletes, these insights promise to enrich your appreciation for the sport and its players.

Table of Contents

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Calvin Pickard, born on April 15, 1992, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, embarked on his journey in hockey at a young age. His passion and dedication to the sport were evident from the start, leading him to play for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Hockey League (WHL).

  1. Pickard was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round, 49th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. This marked the beginning of his professional career, setting the stage for his future in the NHL.

Transition to the NHL

After honing his skills in the WHL and the American Hockey League (AHL), Pickard made his NHL debut with the Colorado Avalanche during the 2014-2015 season. His performance in the net began to turn heads and establish him as a promising goaltender in the league.

  1. On October 16, 2014, Pickard played his first NHL game against the Ottawa Senators. Despite the Avalanche's loss, his debut was a significant milestone in his career.

  2. Throughout his tenure with the Avalanche, Pickard showed remarkable improvement and resilience, often stepping up as the team's starting goalie due to injuries within the squad.

Expansion Draft and Beyond

The 2017 NHL Expansion Draft was a turning point for many players, including Pickard. He was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, becoming part of the team's inaugural roster.

  1. Despite the excitement of joining a new team, Pickard was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in October 2017, before playing a regular-season game for the Golden Knights.

  2. His time with the Maple Leafs was brief, as he primarily played for their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, where he contributed to their Calder Cup victory in 2018.

Journey Through Different Teams

Over the following years, Pickard found himself moving between teams, showcasing his skills across the NHL and AHL.

  1. Pickard was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers in October 2018, adding another chapter to his NHL journey.

  2. After his stint with the Flyers, he was again claimed off waivers, this time by the Arizona Coyotes in November 2018.

  3. In July 2019, Pickard signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings, further expanding his experience with different franchises in the league.

International Play

Apart from his NHL career, Pickard has also represented Canada on the international stage, contributing to the country's success in various tournaments.

  1. He was a member of Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, where the team won the gold medal.

  2. Pickard returned to the World Championship in 2017, helping Canada secure a silver medal after a hard-fought tournament.

Personal Life and Off-Ice Interests

Beyond the rink, Pickard is known for his easy-going personality and love for the outdoors. His interests outside of hockey provide a glimpse into the person behind the goalie mask.

  1. An avid fisherman, Pickard often spends his off-seasons near lakes and rivers, enjoying the tranquility of fishing.

  2. He is also a fan of golf, hitting the links whenever his schedule allows, showcasing his competitive spirit even off the ice.

Career Highlights and Achievements

Throughout his career, Pickard has had moments that stand out, highlighting his skill as a goaltender and his contributions to his teams.

  1. One of Pickard's most memorable performances came on December 31, 2016, when he made an impressive 47 saves against the New York Rangers, securing a win for the Avalanche.

  2. His role in the Toronto Marlies' Calder Cup victory in 2018 is a testament to his abilities and his impact in crucial games.

  3. Pickard reached a personal milestone by recording his first NHL shutout on January 14, 2016, against the New Jersey Devils, showcasing his potential as a top-tier goaltender.

Challenges and Resilience

Like many athletes, Pickard has faced challenges and setbacks throughout his career. His journey reflects not just his talent but also his resilience and determination to succeed.

  1. Being traded and claimed off waivers multiple times could be disheartening, yet Pickard has remained positive, viewing each move as an opportunity to grow and contribute to his new teams.

  2. Injuries and competition for the starting goalie position have tested his resolve, but these challenges have only strengthened his dedication to the sport.

  3. Pickard's ability to adapt to different teams and playing styles has been crucial in his NHL journey, demonstrating his versatility and professionalism.

  4. Despite the ups and downs, Pickard continues to pursue his passion for hockey with the same fervor he had as a young player in the WHL, embodying the spirit of perseverance and dedication that defines great athletes.

A Final Glance at Calvin Pickard's Journey

Calvin Pickard's career in the NHL showcases resilience, skill, and a deep passion for hockey. From his early days being drafted by the Colorado Avalanche to his current status, Pickard's journey is a testament to hard work paying off. Fans and aspiring goalies alike look up to him, not just for his saves on the ice but for his attitude off it. His story reminds us that success in professional sports isn't just about talent; it's about perseverance, adapting to change, and seizing opportunities. Whether he's defending the net for his team or inspiring the next generation of players, Pickard's impact on the game is undeniable. As we've seen, his stats, experiences, and contributions to hockey go beyond just numbers—they tell the story of a dedicated athlete who loves the game.

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