26-Year-Old Goalie – Free Agent
Leland Irving Contract Information:
Irving signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Flames in July of 2012.
Irving is looking to play in Finland this season, the Calgary Sun reports.
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Leland Irving: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Irving saw his first NHL time in 2011-12, serving as a backup to Miikka Kiprusoff after Henrik Karlsson went down with injury. Irving played decently in his opening campaign, putting together a 1-3-3 record and a .912 save percentage. He looks to have the inside track to the backup role this season, as he played much better than Henrik Karlsson last season, but much will depend on how he performs in camp. The Flames are still looking for a long-term replacement for Kiprusoff, so Irving certainly has the motivation to up his game.
Leland recently inked a one-year, two-way contract with the Flames and will prove his mettle during training camp. He's a young, talented goaltender that is progressing toward securing an NHL job in an organization with an aging top netminder in Miikka Kipprusoff. Keep an eye on Irving, as the Flames are high on this kid.
Irving will spend the 2009-10 season with the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL. The only chance he has of seeing the Flames' NHL roster is if either Miikka Kiprusoff or Curtis McElhinney get hurt or if McElhinney plays poorly. He doesn't appear to be a factor in fantasy leagues this year. He still projects to be a solid goaltender at the NHL level, just not this year.
With Miikka Kiprusoff the solid No. 1 in Calgary and Curtis McElhinney all but assured of the No. 2 spot, Irving should spend another season in the AHL. However, if McElhinney struggles, Irving will compete with Matt Keetley to be his replacement.
For a second straight season, Irving absolutely toyed with the WHL. His stats include a 34-9-3 record, a 1.86 GAA and a .929 save percentage. He also got valuable experience backing up Carey Price on Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, and is expected to be the starting goalie in next year's tournament. The 2006 first-round selection (26th overall) is one of the top goaltending prospects in the league, yet with Miikka Kiprusoff firmly entrenched as Calgary's starting goalie, Irving is quite a few years away from the NHL.
Irving had a great season in the WHL in 2005-06, but will likely not be in the NHL for another year or two. Unless Brian Boucher proves to be an unworthy backup to Miikka Kiprusoff, Irving will spend a year in the minors to hone his skills and perhaps impress enough to make it to the big show in 2007-08.
Irving, a quiet throwback-kind of goalie, is ranked the number two netminder by NHL Central Scouting and number four by the International Scouting Service for the 2006 draft class. He's very cool under pressure and like most butterfly goalies, covers the bottom of the net well. He also has very good rebound control for someone his age, a trait that bodes well for his future in the NHL. He finished 37-22-4 last season with the third-best goals-against average and save percentage in the Western Hockey League.