The Nashville Predators have always been rock solid in net, but do they have another future star goaltender in the pipeline, or at least a solid backup?
Time revisit the Milwaukee Admirals and see how another prospect is doing for the Nashville Predators. Today we take a look at Connor Ingram, a goaltender who can hopefully develop into a solid backup on the NHL level in the near future.
Ingram was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third-round, 88th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft from the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. After spending another season with the Kamloops and winning a Silver Medal at the 2017 U20 World Junior Championships for Team Canada, he made his professional debut with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
Ingram was sent down to the ECHL later on in the year in the 2017-18 season, where he logged three games and a save percentage of .960. He was called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but never played in a NHL game and bounced between the AHL and ECHL while keeping up respectable numbers.
The Nashville Predators received Ingram via trade from Tampa Bay back in June in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2021. Not a trade at the time that really jumped off the screen, but Ingram does have potential to eventually become a solid backup. He’s just 22-years-old and looking to build a strong season for the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL this season.
How Ingram is looking with Milwaukee
Ingram has been made an impressive start with Milwaukee early on through four games played. He’s sharing the starts with Troy Grosenick, who has been with Milwaukee for a little longer and probably considered the top option in net. Both goaltenders are playing well to start Milwaukee’s season.
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Now the question is could we see Ingram make his NHL debut this season? Only in an emergency situation will we see Ingram make a start for the Nashville Predators this season. As we all know, the Predators are stacked at the top with Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros. Ingram is looking to get settled in with a new franchise after things not ending so smoothly with Tampa Bay.
Ingram’s numbers so far this season are somewhat promising. He’s compiled a record of 1-2-1, with his save percentage being respectable at .913. His goals against average is creeping up a bit, but not terrible at 2.78. It’s still very early so it will be interesting to keep an eye on the him to see if he overtakes Grosenick, who is playing extremely well through his own five games.
In the preseason for the Predators, Ingram only got playing time in one game, and it was the opener where he saved all 11 shots he faced. He didn’t manage anymore time as the bulk of the preseason was given to Saros and Rinne.
How does his future look with Nashville?
If Ingram were to get called up again it would be just the second time of his young career being called up to the best league in the world. His first time being called up he didn’t manage to play a single game. He played the backup role before being sent back down for good. The Predators saw an opportunity over the offseason to bring in a young goaltender with moderate potential to make their goalie pipeline even stronger.
With all the new talent coming into Nashville and with the possible exit of Rinne in the near future, could we see something new happen with the goaltender position? When Rinne does decide to hang it up, Saros will almost certainly be the new franchise goaltender for the Nashville Predators Who becomes his backup is very uncertain, but Ingram is in that conversation after being traded for over the offseason.
As for the Milwaukee Admirals, they have high hopes in the AHL. The Predators have built a strong roster up in Milwaukee, and Ingram is part of that equation. As Milwaukee looks to win a Calder Cup this year, Ingram is looking to continue his fresh start with a new organization and eventually get his NHL debut. Maybe it’ll come with the Predators down the road, but hopefully not due to injuries to Rinne or Saros. That’s the only way it happens in the near future.
All prospect information via Elite Prospects