28-Year-Old Defenseman – Nashville Predators
Matt Irwin Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Predators in July 2016.
Irwin signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Predators on Friday, Adam Vingan of The Tennessean reports.
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Matt Irwin: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Irwin has a lot of potential, but it's not always been clear where he stands with the Sharks. However, after suiting up for the bulk of the Sharks’ regular-season games in the last two years, Irwin looks as though he's here to stay. He should see some extra ice time in 2014-15 with the departure of Dan Boyle, along with the stated team goal of refocusing on the youth movement. Irwin’s path to ice time could become even clearer if the Sharks decide to transition Brent Burns back to wing at any point during the season. So, in theory, Irwin’s 19 points from last season should increase, especially as the team looks to replace Boyle's power-play time. San Jose will want an active defensive tandem that they can put out to generate some offense, and Irwin could easily be a part of that plan, not least of all because he likes to shoot the puck (147 shots last season). He’s an interesting dark horse and a player who is in line for a breakout year -- if one ever materializes -- in one of his next two seasons.
With his first season in a Sharks' sweater now behind him, Irwin has shown that he has some offensive upside and the potential to stake out a bigger role on the team this season. In 38 games, he put up six goals and six assists, including five power-play points, blocked 65 shots and averaged over 19 minutes and more than two shots per game. He's not going to lead the defensive core in points, but for a first season in the NHL, those are promising numbers. Promising enough to pick him up on draft day, you ask? No, probably not. We wouldn’t bet on this being Irwin’s breakout year, but expect these numbers to improve. He's worth keeping an eye on.
Irwin is a powerful defender with offensive upside. He turned in his first full season of professional hockey in 2010-11, recording 31 points (10 G, 21 A) and 43 penalty minutes for the Sharks’ minor league affiliate in Worcester. The talented rearguard is likely to require more seasoning in the minors this year.