The Calgary Flames made another minor addition on Tuesday morning. The team announced the signing of left wing Justin Kirkland to a one year, two-way deal worth $700,000 at the NHL level.
.@CortexBusiness Transaction Alert: The #Flames have signed forward Justin Kirkland to a one-year, two-way contract. https://t.co/yjftfi6ICs
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) July 2, 2019
A product of Camrose, Alberta, the 22-year-old Kirkland came up through the Western Hockey League and plied his trade for three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets – playing one season under Flames assistant coach Ryan Huska and a pair of seasons alongside Flames prospect Dillon Dube. Kirkland was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft and played three seasons in the Predators’ farm system, primarily with the Milwaukee Admirals. He was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Predators.
The Heat are likely to be a young group full of fresh-faced players getting their first or second pro season under their belts. With Kirkland, the team gets a reliable two-way presence who has amassed a pretty good amount of minor league experience. On a team that’s likely to be lean on AHL experience, it’s going to be valuable to have him around. He might not necessarily push for NHL duty, but he could be a player that helps get his teammates ready for the next level.