Nashville Predators Rookie Camp begins on September 10th, so to help you get ready we'll walk our way through the prospects, from youngest to oldest.
Chet Pickard - #37
Born: November 29, 1989 From: Moncton, N.B.
Height: 6-2 Weight: 206 Catches: Left
2010-2011 Team: Milwaukee (AHL)/Cincinnati (ECHL)
Stats: 9-14-3, .877 Save %, 3.39 GAA (Cincinnati)
Drafted: 2008 1st round (18)
Follow after the jump for some background!
Pickard has to carve his own path, but Nashville will side with Rinne long term since he’s already established. I think some of Pickard’s flaws are his complacency and mobility. He’s a bigger goalie that relies on his size to get body parts behind pucks. It’s the polar opposite of Rinne, who tries to go out and stop everything. Pickard likes to let pucks hit him and then react from there. He’s still capable of being a "franchise" goalie because Pickard has awesome durability and technique. When the foundation is there, anything is possible over the course of two or three seasons. So it’s impossible to judge their ability’s ceiling or floor. It really just depends on each and every game they play. I like his confidence level and his mental toughness but he needs to speed up his footwork if he wants to be effective in the NHL.
During the 2010-2011 season, Pickard went through an extremely rough patch, going months without a win for Milwaukee, and getting sent down to the ECHL for a while to sort things out.
Arbitrary nickname we'll give him even though he'd probably hate it
With a name like Chet Pickard, there's no need for a nickname in Nashville - he fits as naturally as Vern Fiddler.
Cue the highlight reel! The Milwaukee Admirals are pretty good about posting stuff on YouTube:
What's at stake
The development path for goaltenders is often long and unpredictable, which is why it's risky to use a high draft pick on one as the Preds did here. While his horrid 2010-2011 season is concerning, what's even more important is how he responds to that adversity going forward as he faces a 3-way battle for what are likely two roster spots in Milwaukee. We'll get a good look at how he handles that pressure over the next couple weeks.