Looking back at Calvin Pickard

The former expansion draft pick was the first player chosen by the Vegas Golden Knights. How he became a noteworthy item for Edmonton.
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five / Derek Cain/GettyImages

Calvin Pickard made a name for himself during the Vancouver Canucks-Edmonton Oilers series. He started two games in place of a struggling Stuart Skinner, winning game four. During the series, the backup goaltender posted a GAA of 2.21 and a save percentage of .915. During the regular season, he had a modest save percentage of .909, with a GAA of 2.45 in 23 games. In essence, he helped the Oilers advance to the Western Conference Finals.

However, Pickard is more well-known as the first overall pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft. Going to the Golden Knights first is a noteworthy piece of trivia, especially when that team heads to the Stanley Cup Finals right after. As they always say, "You always remember your first..."

The journeyman goaltender has bounced around the league after his expansion draft pick, with stints in Philadelphia, Detroit, and even Arizona. But what about his short-lived time in Vegas? How is he stepping in during the Stanley Cup playoffs, going against the NHL's best? Here's a quick look at the New Brunswick native's brief time as a memorable piece of trivia.

Calvin Pickard goes to Sin City

Calvin Pickard will always be known as the guy who went first in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The intent was for the New Brunswick native to back up Marc-Andre Fleury, who came in from the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then-general manager George McPhee wanted a good goaltending tandem to start the franchise off right, which paired the legendary "Flower" with the journeyman goaltender.

What's more unbelievable is the Vegas Golden Knights picking up fellow goaltender Malcolm Subban off waivers, leaving Pickard on the waiver line. The goalie never played for the team, being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Tobias Lindberg and a 2018 sixth-round draft pick. Sadly, he never got to experience the then-expansion team's unprecedented run to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, Pickard was assigned to the Toronto Marlies after the trade, winning the Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award and Toronto's first Calder Cup. Not bad for a forgotten piece of hockey trivia.

Still, Pickard will be remembered in Golden Knights history as the first guy to be selected in their expansion draft. While the first player signed with the team will always be Reid Duke with a three-year entry-level contract in 2017, the current Oilers goaltender has already etched his name in Vegas hockey history... even if he didn't play a single minute with the team.