5 Colorado Avalanche Prospects That Can Make The Jump In 2015

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2. G Calvin Pickard

Dec 27, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard (31) during the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The importance of a stellar backup goaltender was on display in the 2014-15 season when Reto Berra generally failed to deliver. He did show flashes of great NHL ability, but that was it. This is where Avs prospect Calvin Pickard joins in.

If it wasn’t for Berra, Pickard would easily be Semyon Varlamov’s backup. He is young and consistently good. Plus, he proved that he can be consistently good in the NHL as well, when he posted a .932 save-percentage in 16 games for the Avalanche. However, Berra is there — and he is on a $1.45M one-way contract.

Berra’s contract is too big to store him in the AHL. So a different solution must be found. One of those solutions may be to simply keep Pickard for San Antonio in the AHL and wait for Berra to leave. Still, if the Avalanche find a way to manage the contracts — Pickard is an RFA this off-season — Pickard will have a great chance to spend the majority of the season in the NHL.

Chance of becoming a full-time Avalanche in 2015-16: 70%

Next: C Joey Hishon