Today’s tour of #31 gets us back to looking at one player and two goalies. 31 generally is a goalie number so seeing a player with this number is somewhat odd.
Aaron Miller: ’95-’96
Miller was drafted by the New York Rangers in the 1989 NHL entry draft. Before playing a game for either the Rangers or their affiliates, he was traded to Quebec where he played under 3 different numbers in his time with the franchise. He has played in 41 for his first couple seasons before switching to the number 31 for 2 seasons before again switching his number to #3 before leaving the organization. In his time with the franchise, Miller posted 17 goals and 46 assists in 311 games.
Peter Budaj: ’05-’11
Colorado took Peter Budaj in the 2nd round of the 2001 NHL Entry draft. He started out developing in the AHL before getting 34 games in the 2005-2006 season. He would stay with the team for 6 years getting varying roles and starts. He would end his Avalanche career by signing as a free agent with Montreal and being traded around and signing as a free agent for a couple other teams. Budaj appeared in 242 games in the #31 sweater posting a respectable .901 save percentage and a 2.83 GAA. We would come to win 101 games, lost 91, and tie/overtime 91.
Calvin Pickard: ’14-’17
This fan favorite would be picked up by the Avalanche in the 2nd round of the 2010 NHL entry draft. He would go on to fight for the top goalie prospect for a couple years with Sami Aittokallio. He would end up getting some games in the NHL in the 2014-2015 season and earning the backup position after competing with Reto Berra the next year. He won that competition as well and earned the backup position for the 2016-2017 season. Varly would go down injured and decided to have surgery that season where Pickard would have to take starting duties and played in 50 games that season only winning in 15. He got a bad hand dealt to him and lead us to the record 48 point season, though not deserving the flack that may come with that history. Pickard was taken in the Expansion Draft by Vegas where he would not be favored much and eventually got sent down to the AHL after Vegas picked up Malcolm Subban off waivers. He was eventually traded to Toronto where he would end up being the backup in the AHL. Hopefully fate helps Pickard out in the future because he deserves much better than he got, both because of his skill and personality. Pickard ended his tenure with the Avs playing in 86 games, winning 28, and losing 44, while going into 6 overtimes. He posted a nice .914 save percentage and 2.77 GAA.
Also, who could forget this awesome and adorable moment by Pickard?
and this lessor known moment?
Who do you think wore #31 best?[qsm quiz=64]