The Minnesota Wild have given former Calgary Flames prospect Leland Irving a professional tryout contract (PTO) to attend Wild training camp this month, the team announced on Monday.
The 27-year-old Irving was a 1st round draft pick (26th overall) for the Flames back in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons he grabbed 13 games with the Flames, while spending most of his time with the Abbotsford Heat.
After that short NHL stint, he left North America and played a season in the Finnish Elite League and then jumped over to the Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL last year, playing 20 games with a .883 save percentage. In Finland, playing for Jokerit the prior year, he played 55 games with a .922 save percentage.
Irving is likely competing for a spot with the Iowa Wild in the AHL, as the Wild lack a veteran netminder at that level. With the shuffling that has taken place, the team will carry Niklas Backstrom, Darcy Kuemper and Devan Dubnyk at the NHL level, barring a trade, and they’ll have Steve Michalek and Brody Hoffman in the AHL, both making their pro debut this season. To get them more ice time, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one of them earn the starting spot in the AHL and another get sent to the ECHL to get more starts.
Lots of familiar names are taking PTOs this season. Keep up with all the tryout contracts with The Hockey Writers’ 2015 PTO Tracker.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.