How many wins can the Columbus Blue Jackets expect out of their backup goalie, Joonas Korpisalo, in the 2018-2019 season?
This is the biggest season in Joonas Korpisalo’s life. The 24-year-old goalie could be the Columbus Blue Jackets starting goalie by the end of the season if things play out in his favor. Or, the Jackets could deem Korpisalo as an unnecessary luxury after re-signing Sergei Bobrovsky to a new deal, and trade him before the deadline.
Korpisalo is coming off a season where he played in 18 games for the Jackets and amassed a record of 8-8-1. With a .897 save percentage and a goals against average above 3.3 a game, it wasn’t quite the season Korpi, or the Jackets wanted to see.
Keeping Korpi (a made for TV movie title if I’ve ever heard one) was a key portion of the Columbus Blue Jackets considerations when making the deal with the Vegas Golden Knights last season. Giving up not only William Karlsson, but a 1st round pick, was a high price to pay to guarantee both Korpi’s and Josh Anderson‘s continued tenure in Central Ohio.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Jackets clearly see Korpi as a big part of their future and I see only one scenario where he doesn’t get a contract extension by the end of this season. Joonas is a restricted free agent at the end of this season and unless the Jackets can come to terms with Zach Werenski, Artemi Panarin, and Sergei Bobrovsky before the end of the year, he will be back with the team.
That isn’t to say that the Jackets need to see more out of Korpi this season. His play last year simply wasn’t good enough for a player who is seen as one of the best and most promising back up goalies int he NHL.
Korpi should be expected to start closer to 20 games this year and deliver at least 12 wins this year. Sergei needs more time off during the season to ensure he is top notch in the playoffs. Joonas has the talent to do so. He just needs to ensure that he is in a mental place to go out and own the ice like we all know he can.
I expect Korpi to end the season with some impressive performances under his belt and the confidence to enter 2019-2020 as the starting goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets.