Became Canadiens' Number One Goaltender
At the beginning of the 1971-72, Dryden was named the number one goaltender for the Canadiens. Because of the limited number of games he had appeared in the previous season, this was technically his rookie year. He played in sixty-four games with a 2.24 goals against average, and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. This marked the first time a player was named playoff MVP before being named rookie of the year.
Dryden continued to play well in goal in the 1972-73 season, winning the Vezina Trophy as best goaltender in the league. In fifty-four games, he had a record of 33-7-13 with a goals against of 2.26. He also graduated from McGill University's law school in 1973. To complete the requirements of his degree and practice law, he had to begin "articling" within two years. Articling was doing a year's clerkship at a law firm.