In classic David Poile fashion, the Nashville Predators have completed a multi-year extension with one of their much lesser-known players. Connor Ingram today has signed a three-year deal that carries an average annual value of just over $733K. The contract is two-way for both 2020-21 and 2021-22, before turning into a one-way contract in 2022-23.
Ingram, 22, came over to the Predators organization this season after a tumultuous tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning and has posted a .933 save percentage in 33 AHL starts. Still waiting on his first NHL appearance, the third-round pick will have some safety and security with this new contract.
The deal also obviously has some expansion draft value for the Predators, who will almost surely be protecting Juuse Saros, but there is also real promise in Ingram as a future NHL option. While things didn’t work out in Tampa Bay it wasn’t because of his performance on the ice. Ingram has consistently posted strong results, only strengthening the scouting takes that had him as a top goaltending prospect in 2016.
With Pekka Rinne’s struggles this season, it’s hard to imagine the Predators extending him after his current contract ends after next season. At that point the franchise goaltender would be 38 and likely near the end of his career. Saros too will be a free agent in 2021, though he will be restricted and arbitration eligible. Locking up Ingram for the next several years at least gives them some stability at the position, even if he never does become a starting NHL option.