Last season Calvin Pickard won the hearts of Colorado Avalanche fans. During his late season call up he played in 16 games, posting a team-leading 2.55 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. Although his record was sub-.500 (6-7) fans could see the future was bright for rookie.

When training camp started, there was plenty of buzz surrounding the competition for the backup goalie job. To the displeasure of most fans, Reto Berra was eventually handed the job. That doesn’t mean the Avalanche don’t hold Pickard in high regard, the opposite is true. Yesterday, Patrick Roy spoke frankly about Pickard’s past and future with the team.

“In my conversation with Calvin, what I said to him – sometimes I like to keep that closed door – but I have no problem to say aloud today, that last year when he left I thought he had no chance to play at the NHL level. When we called him up he opened the eyes of everybody.” Roy continued, “I believe that Calvin will play at the NHL level one day.”

Roy also said the he challenged Pickard to be the No. 1 goalie in the AHL. Something he believes is an obtainable goal for Pickard.

That’s high praise coming from arguably the greatest goalie in NHL history.

Don’t be surprised if Pickard makes his 2015-16 Avalanche debut sooner than later.

Listen to Roy’s full press conference here.