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Connor Ingram Must Prove He Belongs With Nashville

The AHL netminder must prove he belongs in Nashville.

Colorado Avalanche v Nashville Predators - Game Four Photo by Mickey Bernal/Getty Images

It’s a goalie preview for the 2022-2023 season!

2021-22 Recap:

Regular Season: 3 GP, 1 W, 2 L, 3.71 GAA, .879 Sv% (NHL)
54 GP, 30 W, 17 L, 2.70 GAA, .915 Sv% (AHL)

Playoffs: 4 GP, 0 W, 4 L, 3.64 GAA, .913 Sv% (NHL)
4 GP, 1 W, 3 L, 5.69 GAA, .835 Sv% (AHL)

Being thrown into a playoff series against the eventual Stanley Cup champions can be daunting. Ingram took over for David Rittich in the third period of Game 1 and remained the starter for Games 2-4. None of the first round was fair for Ingram, but he put up a fight in Game 3 at home, forcing overtime in a tight game. During the regular season, I’d give his body of work an “incomplete” because we barely saw the goalie in gold.

He made this incredible stop, flashing some of his positional brilliance for the Predators against the Oilers.

Ingram’s Expectations For 2022-23

Last season, Connor Ingram was a regular-season phenom for the Admirals. He earned a recall to Nashville in the early winter and performed reasonably well for a goalie with no NHL starts.

This season, the Predators have signed Kevin Lankinen to back up Juuse Saros, and it’s a little difficult to pinpoint what Ingram’s expectations might be. Will he be “the guy” in Milwaukee again? It looks likely. It feels like the Predators view Ingram as their Milwaukee starter for at least one more season.

However, that “starter” tag has some competition. Devin Cooley was a magnificent playoff goalie in 2022, and Yaroslav Askarov will need playing time, too. Lankinen’s signing almost indicates that Nashville has too many professional-quality goalies and that one might be par of a trade package at a later time. Is this true? I’m not sure. However, if Ingram sees a game or two in Nashville, he must prove that he belongs.

One Bold Prediction

I have half a mind to predict that Ingram will be on another team by the end of the season, but I hate thinking about him on another team. I worry that his time with Milwaukee will not be what he wants or needs—he will have to cede time to Askarov.

If Lankinen or Saros become injured, Ingram will be a great call-up option. Right now, that’s all he is. He’s a journeyman AHL goalie and I’m not entirely sure what his future with the organization is any longer. If Ingram sees a NHL net, it will be for five or fewer games.