After a few years of grooming, Calvin Pickard appears primed for a full season at the NHL level.
On Tuesday, Colorado announced it had signed Pickard to a two-year, $2 million extension (financials per Bleacher Report). The contract comes after Pickard, 24, played in 20 games for the Avs last year, going 7-6-1 with a 2.56 GAA and .922 save percentage.
Following the season, Pickard helped Canada win gold at the worlds, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.50 GAA and .971 save percentage.
Pickard’s promotion seemed imminent prior to the draft, when the Avs sent backup goalie Reto Berra to Florida. The only other netminder to play for Colorado last season, Roman Will, signed in the Czech League in May.
The real intrigue now is how much Pickard can push No. 1 netminder Semyon Varlamov. Some view Pickard as the club’s potential goalie of the future, and some are concerned Varlamov has struggled to rediscover his form of three years ago, when he finished second in Vezina and fourth in Hart Trophy voting.
This year, the 28-year-old Russian was called out on a few occasions by head coach Patrick Roy. Varlamov finished with a .914 save percentage and 2.81 GAA in 57 starts, and recording just 27 wins.