Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Word About Joonas Korpisalo

Joonas Korpisalo
A little more than a year ago I read an article about goal tending that I found fascinating.  I'm pretty sure I picked up the link off of Puck Daddy, but I have found the article again.  It is written by Chris Koentges, and is called The Oracle of Ice Hockey, and this is an unbelievably good article about goaltending in Finland.  I highly recommend this article, as it is written by a real writer, unlike myself.  The point I want to make is related to Part VI of the article, which is that Joonas Korpisalo is exactly on the development trajectory that one should expect from a Finnish goal tender.

An important point of the article is that Finnish goal tenders tend to mature at a different, slower, pace than their Canadian counterparts.  There are important philosophical elements to this as well, and Joonas has remained in Finland absorbing this part of the game.  I have seen some who characterize the CBJ goal tending pipeline as in a bit of trouble, but Anton Forsberg has not yet peaked, and Joonas Korpisalo is a long way from reaching his peak.  Developmentally, coming in as the backup in Lake Erie right now is right on track for him.  By next year we will begin to see what type of goal tender we can expect him to really be.  On a more recent front, he played very well at Traverse City, backstopping the CBJ to another tournament title.  I did see one comment that implied that it was well, you know, Traverse City, so.... inferior competition.  For the NHL, yes.  For a guy whose development track calls for him now to be exposed to the North American professional game, it is an excellent start.

Don't write this guy off because he was drafted behind Oscar Dansk.  If you read that article, you will understand that he was always going to hit his peak later than Oscar.  We do not know what Korpisalo's ceiling is yet.  We should get a better handle on that over the next two years.  I for one, am excited about this prospect, and think he is going to be way better than a lot of people think he is going to be.  Now he is going to have a lot of exposure to Ian Clark's NHL coaching skills, which should polish the foundation he acquired in Finland.

Good luck Joonas!  I'm rooting for you!


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