Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 44

needed to do to see my dream through.” When he was 17, Calvert played one game with the Winkler Flyers. He didn’t get a point, but he had a fight and a misconduct. The next year, he made his hometown team, the Brandon Wheat Kings and played in all 72 games. He had 24 goals and 40 assists. “My dad and I were talking about what I was going to do,” said Calvert, a graduate of Brandon’s Vincent Massey High School. “I thought that at best, I’d be a CIS player and that’s kind of what I was planning on doing. And then at Christmas, in my first year with the Wheat Kings, I was ranked. My dad and I were shocked, but there it was. Suddenly, I thought here was a chance I might get drafted.” He was. The Blue Jackets took him with in the fifth round (127th overall) in the 2008 44 GAME ON NOVEMBER 2015 NHL entry draft. Essentially, he was a stockpiled player. A career minor leaguer: A kid who probably wouldn’t have three full years in the organization. So he went back to Brandon and scored 28 goals in 2008-09 and then had a breakout season in 2009-10. He had 47 goals and 52 assists and included in his incredible campaign he earned Second-Team Eastern Conference All-Star and Memorial Cup All-Star honours. But he also became the first and only player ever to score three short-handed goals – in a row – in one period. It came in the second period of a third-round playoff game against the Calgary Hitmen — on three different penalty kills. In a span of 6:45, Calvert scored a natural hat-trick and set a WHL record that will never be broken. The fact he set that record while playing for his hometown team is a bonus for a guy who still calls himself “a Brandon guy.” He still goes back to Brandon every summer. He owns a home there and his best friends live there. He plays summer hockey with The Wagons and his fiancé, Courtney, is a Brandon girl. Granted, he’s famous in Brandon, but not so famous that it’s gone to his head. “I’m just attached to Brandon,” he said. “It’s my hometown and I still love it. Sure, I’m kind of famous there, but I was famous in Brandon when I played for the Wheat Kings. “The coach who was most influential to me in my career was my Triple A midget coach with the Wheat Kings, Craig Anderson. We’re still tight to this day. He runs a hockey school in Brandon and I’m still involved with it. Brandon is an awesome place. I just love the lifestyle. “There is nothing better in the world than summer at the lake with all my old friends. I love being an NHL player, but when the season ends, I’m just a Brandon guy.” By the time “just a Brandon guy” got to the Blue Jackets training camp in 2010, everybody knew his name. He was no longer a stockpiled junior prospect. He was a brilliant late-round draft pick and a future NHLer. This season, he’s a legitimate $6 million US player. Not bad for a kid who was once