2005-06: Another of the Silvertips outstanding 2003 Bantam Draft players, Leland Irving rose to prominence in the WHL this season, especially during the ‘Tips playoff run. A slight groin injury in practice before game one of the Western Conference championship series against the Vancouver Giants kept the native of Swan Hills, Alberta, on the shelf for the first two games. In 67 games during the regular season, Irving posted 37 wins, a 1.91 GAA and a .925 save percentage. He ranked third in the WHL behind the Calgary Hitmen’s Justin Pogge (TOR) and Dustin Slade of the WHL champions Giants. Irving played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game, making 21 saves for Team Orr in a 7-2 victory. He was a member, along with Calla, of gold-medal winning Team Canada at the U-18 World Championship.
2006-07: Irving again suited up for the Silvertips (WHL), going 34-9-3, his best record to date. He posted a 1.86 GAA and a .929 save percentage (WHL best), close to personal -best numbers for the goaltender. He also skated with Team Canada at the WJC, where he took home the Gold Medal.
2007-08: In his final season with the Everett Silvertips (WHL), the net-minder backstopped his old standby with a 27-24-3 record, with a 2.45 GAA and a .919 save percentage.
2008-09: In his first season with the Quad City Flames (AHL), Irving posted a 24-18-2 record with a 2.23 goals against average and a .912 save percentage, numbers comparable to his time spent with Everett (WHL).
2009-10: Irving struggled badly losing his starter's job in his sophomore season with the AHL Abbottsford Heat and later, he was re-assigned to the Victoria Salmon kings of the ECHL. The netminder posted reasonable numbers on a poor Salmon King's team. He had two wins with four loses and an okay goals against average of 3.06 but an excellent save percentage of .908 for Victoria. Irving was finally recalled to Abbottsford where he sat as the back-up goalie for the AHL Calder Cup playoffs only appearing in one playoff game which he gave up three goals on seven shots and playing only 14 minutes of the period. The supposed future starting goalie for the Calgary Flames collecting 14 wins along with 17 loses, two overtime loses and posting a goals against average of 2.76 with a good save percentage of .905 for the season.
2010-11: Irving was arguably the Heat's MVP this season while setting a career high with 30 wins and eight shutouts in 61 AHL games. The goaltender's 30 wins was second amongst all goaltenders and his eight shutouts was an AHL league-best. He posted a goals against average of 2.30 with a very good save percentage of .913 for Abbottsford. The third year goalie clearly took over as the starting netminder for the Heat this season while showing the Flames that he could be their netminder of the future.
2011-12: Irving made his NHL debut in December, appearing in seven games for the Flames throughout the season, and played for AHL Abbotsford. He had a 1-6 record with the Flames, with two of the losses coming in overtime and one in a shootout. Irving had a 3.20 goals against and .912 save percentage with Calgary. Sharing the goaltending duties with veteran Danny Taylor in Abbotsford, he was 22-13-2 with 3 shutouts in 39 games with a 2.67 goals against and .902 save percentage. Abbotsford reached the second round of the playoffs after finishing second in the West Division. Irving made one start in the playoffs and allowed 4 goals on 30 shots in a Heat loss.
Irving has a calm demeanor along with a quiet goaltending style that lets the shot hit him while not overplaying the shooters which are all qualities needed to be a NHL netminder. The thin goalie does not fill the net with his frame so he needs to play more at the top of his crease and be more aggressive with his stick when challenging the shooters. He will need to add muscle to his lanky frame and will continue his development as a starter with the Heat instead of filling the back-up role in Calgary.
Irving will definitely be assigned back to the AHL Abbottsford Heat as their starter but could be recalled if there is any injuries to Karlsson or Kiprusoff. It is better for his development to play as the starter in Abbottsford and he will need to improve on his numbers again this season.