There is something to be said for a goaltender who has experience starting in the NHL and the humility needed to accept a backup role. Budaj has combined both over a long career in which he became the first Slovakia-born goalie to win 100 NHL games.
Selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round (No. 63) in the 2001 NHL Draft, Budaj made his League debut Oct. 8, 2005, stopping 16 of 18 shots in a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars. He got his first NHL shutout March 12, 2006, stopping 33 shots in a 3-0 win against the Calgary Flames. He ranked sixth among NHL rookies in the 2005-06 season with 14 wins, the second most by a rookie goalie in franchise history.