2010-11: Aaron Irving made his midget hockey debut — scoring a goal with an assist in his only game with the SSAC Bulldogs midget minor team — and played for the SSAC Lions bantam AAA team in Edmonton. He competed for Edmonton South Bruins in the Alberta Cup – scoring one goal and finishing with 10 penalty minutes in five games. Irving was selected by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.
2011-12: Irving skated for the SSAC Athletics in the Alberta Midget Hockey League as a 15-year-old and played for Team Alberta in the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. He scored 3 goals with 15 assists and had 80 penalty minutes in 31 AMHL games. The Athletics finished fifth in the Dodge Division. Irving scored one goal for Team Alberta.
2012-13: Irving made his WHL debut with Edmonton in September and skated in four more games with the Oil Kings over the holidays — spending most of the season with the junior A Bonnyville Pontiacs in the AJHL. He had no points and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes in five WHL games. Irving scored 1 goal with 6 assists and had 57 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games for Bonnyville. The Pontiacs finished third in the North Division and lost to Whitecourt in the second round. Irving had no points and 11 penalty minutes in nine playoff games.
2013-14: Irving joined the Oil Kings for his first full season and worked his way into a full-time role on the Memorial Cup champions. In 63 regular games he scored 9 goals with 21 assists and was +26 with 88 penalty minutes; fourth most on the team. Edmonton finished second to Calgary in the Central Division based on tiebreakers but rolled through the playoffs. The Oil Kings avenged a loss to Portland in the 2013 WHL Finals to reach the Memorial Cup. Irving had 2 assists and was +1 with 10 penalty minutes in 20 playoff games. The Oil Kings lost two of three games in the round robin portion of the Memorial Cup but defeated Val-d’Or in triple overtime in a semifinal game and topped Guelph to capture the championship. Irving was minus-4 with no points and 2 penalty minutes in five Memorial Cup games. He was selected for Team Cherry in the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was ranked 90th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings. Nashville selected Irving in the sixth round (162nd overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
2014-15: Irving skated in 65 of 72 regular season games for the Edmonton Oil Kings in his second WHL season. He scored 6 goals with 7 assists and was -8 with 58 penalty minutes. The defending Memorial Cup champions, Edmonton slid to fifth in the Central Division and lost to Eastern Conference champion Brandon in a first round playoff series. Irving was -3 with no points and 2 penalty minutes in five playoff games.
2015-16: Irving returned to the Edmonton Oil Kings for his third WHL season and made his pro debut with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals on an amateur tryout contract. He was -3 with no points nor penalties in his only game with the Admirals. Irving skated in 72 regular season games for the Oil Kings, scoring 9 goals with 31 assists and finishing -3 with 88 penalty minutes. Edmonton finished tied with Medicine Hat for fourth in the Central Division, winning a one-game play-in game against the Tigers for the final playoff spot. Irving was -3 with no points nor penalty minutes in six playoff games.
Irving is a heart-on-his-sleeve, team-first defender who is a positive presence in the locker room. A bit overwhelmed at times by faster and more-skilled forwards, he must continue to develop all aspects of his game to play at the next level.
Irving participated in the Predators' development camp in July and attended Nashville's training camp before returning to Edmonton for his third WHL season. Two years removed from winning the Memorial Cup the Oilers managed to capture the final playoff spot, defeating Medicine Hat in a one-game playoff. Aaron was a team leader in his third season, finishing with 40 points in 72 games, both career highs. He was not signed to an entry-level contract by the Predators and will re-enter the 2016 NHL Draft. Irving, as with many late round picks, has some areas of his game that are lacking but his tenacity and competitiveness are positives. He will require time at the minor pro level and projects as a lower pairing defender.