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Joonas Korpisalo Scouting Report

(Photo from http://www.jatkoaika.com/mestis.php?sivu=kolumnit&id=12139, taken by Joona-Pekka Hirvonen)

Joonas Korpisalo has strong hockey bloodlines. According to Wikipedia, Joonas Korpisalo is the son of Jari Korpisalo (born February 17, 1966), a Finnish former professional ice hockey player, who played 575 games in the SM-liiga with Assat Pori, scoring 213 goals and 231 assists for 444 points, while accumulating 893 penalty minutes as well as competing in the 1993 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships as a member of the Finland men's national ice hockey team.

So, who is he, and why do we care?

Age: 18 Nation: Finland
Position: G Shoots: L
Height: 188 cm / 6'2" Weight: 76 kg / 168 lbs

Based on what I've found, Joonas Korpisalo seems to be a young man with a lot of experience playing goalie for Finland. His numbers have fluctuated between excellent, good and okay, and he seems to get a lot of playing time with the National team, in Finland. Central Scouting has him as the 3rd best draft-eligible goalie out of Europe this year.

His Career stats are below, from http://www.eliteprospects.com/

Season Team League GP GAA SVS% Post season GP GAA SVS%
2008-2009 Karhu-Kissat U18 Jr. B II-divisioona 1 - -
2009-2010 Jokerit U16 Jr. C SM-sarja Q 4 0.5 0.97
Jokerit U16 Jr. C SM-sarja 18 2.29 0.93 Playoffs 13 2.58 .936
Finland U16 (all) International-Jr 3 1.39 0.956
2010-2011 Jokerit U18 Jr. B SM-sarja Q 5 2.97 0.909
Jokerit U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 0 - - Playoffs 0 - -
Jokerit U18 Jr. B SM-sarja 15 2.55 0.924 Playoffs 8 2.87 .916
Finland U17 (all) EYOF 2 1.46 0.914
Finland U17 (all) International-Jr 7 1.97 0.921
2011-2012 Jokerit U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 38 2.04 0.92 Playoffs 4 1.77 .926
Finland U18 WJC-18 6 3.02 0.902
Finland U18 (all) International-Jr 7 2.39 0.923

Scott Goldman of the Goalie Guild reviews goalies of significant interest each year, and rates many different aspects of their game. Goldman rates Korpisalo as a mid-range prospect - he thinks this Finn could be drafted in the later rounds, but there's no guarantees. These are his words:

I know very little about Korpisalo’s game, but he has solid credentials. Over the past three seasons, he has represented Finland in international play (U-16, U-17, U-18) and has never posted below a .909 SV%. He’s also having a stellar season in the Jr. A SM-liiga, posting a 2.29 GAA and .909 SV% in 25 games played.

Radoslav Vavřina, a correspondent for All Habs, has this to day about Joonas:

In my opinion, he was the best goalie in the (2012 IIHF U-18 World) championship and if it wasn’t for him, the Finns wouldn’t have beaten Canada in the group stage. He controls most of the shots against and if he can’t, he just makes a huge desperation save. He reminds me a little bit of Tim Thomas.

I also stumbled across these video of him on shootout or penalty shot attempts:

(note video is from 2011)

Certainly not NHL calibre, but there does seem to be improvement, if nothing else.

Based on this information, his bloodlines, and his ties to the Finnish national team, he seems like a fair bet to draft and follow. He will get plenty of opportunity to play in Europe, without needing to devote a lot of resources to his development as a player. He may be worth a flyer in the 6th or 7th. If a team sees him as good as Vavřina did, he could end up going earlier, maybe in the 4th.

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