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Arizona Coyotes claim Connor Ingram off waivers

The 25-year-old has a chance to play more NHL games in the desert.

Colorado Avalanche v Nashville Predators - Game Three Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The Arizona Coyotes have claimed goaltender Connor Ingram off waivers.

Goaltending has arguably been the biggest question for the Arizona Coyotes this off-season, with Karel Vejmelka set to remain the starter during another year of the team’s rebuild.

Behind Vejmelka, however, it was extremely unclear who would play the role of backup or even push the starter for more minutes throughout the 2022-23 campaign, with the team keen to land a top-three pick in next year’s draft.

John Gillies looked to have a shot, then there was Jonas Johansson, but now it seems as if the role could be handed to 25-year-old Connor Ingram, who was claimed by the team off waivers today (Monday, 10th October).

Ingram was selected in the third round (88th overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2016 Draft and looked to have a high ceiling at the NHL level, performing well in his debut professional season with a 20-11-2 record with four shutouts, a 2.33 goals against average and a save percentage of .914.

Another strong effort followed the following year in both the AHL and ECHL, where Ingram played for the Orlando Solar Bears during their playoff run in 2018-19. With the Lightning’s goaltender position solidified for the foreseeable future with Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes, the team offloaded the young goalie to the Nashville Predators after the season for a 2021 seventh-round pick (used to select Robert Flinton 211th overall).

Another strong year followed in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals, with a .933 save percentage leading to a 21-5-6 record, while the following year was a struggle due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Fast forward to the 2021-22 season, and Ingram once again was solid in the AHL (30-17-9, .915 Sv%, 2.70 GAA) and earned himself his first-ever shot in the show.

In three NHL games last year, Ingram had a 1-2-0 record with a 3.71 GAA and a .879 save percentage. Interestingly, he featured in both the AHL and NHL playoffs, with his NHL stats improving from his regular season showing, climbing to a .913 save percentage and a 3.64 goals-against average.

He is far from the final product at 25 years old, and the Coyotes could provide him with a genuine chance to play regularly in the NHL, with the team more focused on the future than the present.

A chance to gain experience in the NHL and possibly impress enough could lead him to earning a longer-term deal with the team. His three-year $733,333 AAV contract sees him become a restricted free agent again next summer, meaning the team still has control over his future if they feel he could be a part of the future in the desert.

Johansson is currently sidelined due to injury, paving the way for Ingram to have a real shot at playing early this season, allowing the Coyotes to assess what they have in the player while determining what the future holds for Johansson in net.

Whether Ingram is the solution or not, he was once a highly touted prospect that could still develop into a steady NHL goaltender if given a chance, which is something he will undoubtedly get now that the Arizona Coyotes have claimed him.