Matt Calvert: “HEART& SOUL PLAYER’ SIGNS BIG CONTRACT This summer, Brandon’s Matt Calvert was rewarded by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s not a star, not even a 15-minute-agame guy, but he keeps his head down, plays hard and brings his best every night. Even undersized guys drafted late can turn out to be consummate professionals. By Scott Taylor Photos by James Carey Lauder and Jeff Miller C 42 GAME ON NOVEMBER 2015 olumbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen calls former Brandon Wheat Kings star, Matt Calvert, “a heart and soul player.” This past summer, Kekalainen signed the restricted free agent Calvert to a new threeyear $6.6 million contract. “Matt Calvert is a heart and soul player, who works hard on and off the ice and is a relentless competitor at both ends of the rink,” Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch. “He’s been an important contributor to our team and we are excited that he will continue to be a part of our organization moving forward.” Calvert, notched 13 goals and finished with 23 points in 56 games as a winger/centre with the Jackets last season. He missed much of the campaign with a concussion, but that didn’t scare off Kekalainen. Calvert had a plus one plus/minus rating while averaging 15:59 of ice time. He registered career highs in goals, game-winners (3) and shots (93), while tying his career high in games played. He skated in his 200th career NHL game on February 22, 2015 at the NY Rangers and finished the season with 7-4-11 in his final 18 appearances. Calvert, Columbus’ fifth pick (127th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, went into this season with 42 goals and 86 points in 209 career games with the Jackets since beginning his professional career in 2010-11. When it comes to professional athletes, the 25-year-old Calvert is the personification of never-say-die. His story is the perfect tale for any young kid who loves hockey and dreams of playing in the NHL, but doesn’t feel he’s been given a chance.