The Anaheim Ducks have made a minor trade, sending goaltender Dustin Tokarski to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for future considerations. Tokarski will report directly to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL, while the Phantoms have traded Leland Irving back to the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim’s affiliate).
Tokarski was once a promising goaltending prospect, but has fallen on tough times in recent seasons and had dropped down the Anaheim depth chart. He’ll look to get his career back on track in Philadelphia, though at 28 it’s hard to see him ever becoming an impact starter in the league.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft by Tampa Bay, Tokarski immediately put up an extremely impressive final year of junior hockey before jumping to the professional ranks in 2009. Impressing once again for Tampa’s AHL affiliate, he would get a chance to debut in the NHL that season. That scorching progression would slow in the coming years, as Tokarski has only played in 34 games at the NHL level for his career.
Perhaps in the most well-known moment of his career, Tokarski suited up for the Montreal Canadiens in the 2014 playoffs when Carey Price went out with an injury in the Eastern Conference finals. After backup Peter Budaj faltered in relief the team went to Tokarski and he actually put up a solid performance even in an ultimately losing effort. Since that .916 save percentage in a short playoff run, he hasn’t been quite the same goaltender, struggling even at the AHL level. Last year, he recorded an .898 mark in 27 games with the Gulls.
Irving on the other hand is a former first-round pick who has bounced around all over the world. Since being selected by the Calgary Flames in 2006, Irving has played in the WHL, ECHL, AHL, NHL, KHL and Finnish Liiga, never sticking for too long in one spot. Though he has always shown some impressive reflexes and skill, he’s never been consistent enough to warrant a real look at the highest level. In 13 career NHL games (the last of which came in 2013) Irving has a .902 save percentage.