He’s been the top goaltender in his league in each of the last two seasons.

And in Waltteri Ignatjew, the Flames feel as though they might just have found a diamond in the rough.

Calgary signed the Finnish puck-stopper to a one-year, two-way contract Monday - Ignatjew will land in North America next fall after logging heavy minutes with Mora in the Swedish second division this past season.

He was an absolute workhorse - playing in all but seven of Mora’s 52 games during the regular season, leading the Allsvenskan in minutes played and saves, while posting a .918 save percentage and four shutouts along the way.

Never drafted by an NHL club, Ignatjew was courted by a few teams over the course of the winter, but some relationship-building on the part of the Flames tipped the scale in Calgary’s favour when it came time for the 24-year-old to put pen to paper on a pro deal on this side of the Atlantic.

Ignatjew caught the eye of Flames senior goaltending coach Jordan Sigalet in the fall - then passed the eye test when Sigalet traveled to Sweden in December to watch him play live.

But in meeting with his new prospect, Sigalet got to know the person behind the mask, and discovered a player longing for the chance to live out a childhood dream.

“He’s never had the opportunity to come over, that’s been his dream, obviously, is to try to make it to the NHL,” Sigalet said Monday. “I think he just sees opportunity here, he wanted to be a Flame and we’re excited about that. (We’re) just looking forward to getting him over here and getting him acclimated; it’s going to be a little bit of a different game, obviously, on the smaller ice, so it could be a little bit of an adjustment period, but we see a lot of upside.

Ignatjew’s numbers don’t lie, but for Sigalet, finding the newest netminder in the organization is also a story on the value of video.

With the amount of film available nowadays to hockey operations personnel, it’s possible for Sigalet and his colleagues to get a read on players from all over the globe.

It’s a tool that’s paid off in the past, too.

“I don’t think anyone can hide now, with the access you have to video,” he said. "Everyone’s always watching every league, they’re trying to find those players. It’s the same thing we kind of did with (David) Rittich in the past; target him on video, then we had our scout over there - live - watching him.

“As soon as I saw Waltteri on video, it was planning that trip to go see him, meet him; you want to make sure what you see on video is the same thing you see live. Sometimes, we don’t really have a feel for the strength of the league, seeing it in person makes a big difference and helps as well.”

After seeing him play, and speaking to him overseas, Sigalet glowed about Ignatjew’s aura - a calming presence and cool-under-pressure mentality that saw him named the Swedish Allsvenskan’s Goaltender of the Year, and a finalist for league MVP.

His game’s trending in the right direction, and for Sigalet and the Flames, the hope is for that upward trajectory to continue on this side of the pond.

“He looks like a late bloomer to me, he’s really found his game in the last two years,” Sigalet said.

“Just the way he plays, he has that calming presence to him; he looks like a pro goalie, I think there’s a lot of NHL attributes in his game.”