Garret Sparks is 22 years old. He's a kid from Elmhurst, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. In 2011, he was the Toronto Maple Leafs' penultimate draft pick - a seventh rounder, selected 190th overall, with just 21 kids taken after him.

You don't necessarily expect players from that position to even make the NHL to begin with. Sparks was the Guelph Storm's goalie at the time of his draft, and when he graduated juniors, he ended up splitting time between the Toronto Marlies in the AHL and the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL.

Good enough to be a pro, but good enough to be in the NHL? Making it as a goalie can be pretty tough; after all, it's a singular, isolating position. There's literally just you and nobody else. Nobody to pick up your ice time if you're underperforming, nobody more experienced to shelter you with.

So to make it? It's pretty hard.

But Sparks made it. Circumstances played in his favour - James Reimer's injury, and Jonathan Bernier's lacklustre performance - but he still earned the start. And he did more with it than any goalie in Leafs history ever has.

Garret Sparks is the first goalie in Toronto Maple Leafs history to make his NHL debut with a shutout. And when he found that out, he got really, really emotional.

Then again, we all did.

Go Sparkles.