Imagine being a hockey player and being able to brag to your children and friends that you achieved an individual award that neither Sidney Crosby nor Connor McDavid have.

Retired goaltender Andrew Raycroft has those bragging rights.

The former Boston Bruins netminder won the Calder Trophy awarded to the “most proficient player in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League” at the conclusion of the 2003-04 season. He is the eighth Bruin to win the award and the last player to do so while donning the Spoked-B.

“I get to hang onto that for a little while still,” Raycroft told

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Posting a .926 save percentage and 2.05 goals against average with a record of 29-18-9 in 57 games, Raycroft earned the award over two right wings from the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders, Michael Ryder and Trent Hunter respectively.

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Ryder appeared in 81 games for the Canadiens, potting 25 goals and adding 38 helpers for 63 points in his rookie campaign while maintaining a plus-10 rating. Hunter suited up for the Islanders in 77 contests notching 51 points (25 goals and 26 assists) and a plus-23.

“It was special, I was lucky that I played games in the National League beforehand,” Raycroft explained. “I was lucky that I played in a time where there weren’t a lot of rookies and if they were, they were older like myself.”

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Raycroft added: “Nowadays, they’re all 18. They’re all Connor McDavids or Connor Bedards. We didn’t really have those kinds of players back then. The league was much different so I was lucky to end up in a great situation on a great team.”

Ironically, as great as McDavid and Crosy are, they finished third and second in their respective rookie seasons.

“That’s the fun that I have,” Raycroft laughed. “Guys like Sidney Crosby didn’t win because (Alex Ovechkin) won it their year and Connor McDavid didn’t (his year). So, there are a lot of guys that aren’t going to win the Rookie of the Year like I did. I get to tell my kids that I’m better than those guys.”

The Belleville, Ontario native finished his rookie season ranked fifth in save percentage and sixth in goals against average — he even had a better save percentage than Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur.

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Raycroft joins Frank Brimsek (1938-39) and Jack Gelineau (1949-50) as the only three goaltenders to win the Calder for Boston. The other Bruins winners were right-wing Larry Regan in 1956-57, defenseman Bobby Orr in 1966-67, center Derek Sanderson in 1967-68, defenseman Ray Bourque in 1979-80 and Sergei Samsonov in 1997-98.

Following Raycroft’s win in 2003-04 there has been only one other netminder to win the award, Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008-09.

“Playing with Sergei Samsonov and him being a great teammate and a great friend was cool,” Raycroft said. “The two of us had won it back-to-back basically or pretty close and now that it’s gone this long without a Bruin winning it and then just one goalie since. It’s going to be hard for goalies to win it now just because of the superstars entering the league. So, that should probably stay for a while for me.”

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the only goaltender remotely in the conversation for Rookie of the Year is Buffalo’s Devon Levi at +2500 odds with Bedard as the clear favorite at -160.

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Maybe Raycroft will have to step aside for Matthew Poitras. The Bruins’ rookie forward is making a name for himself early on in the season and FanDuel set the odds at +3000 for him to take home the hardware. Poitras currently has better stats in points and goals than Bedard, so it could be an upset.

Featured image via Craig Michaud / Craig Michaud Photography