Five of the Most Notable Finnish Players in CBJ History

Jan 30, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /
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He was part of the magical Calder Cup winning Lake Erie Monsters team that season, backstopping a team loaded with future Jackets to an AHL championship…

The 2012 draft is memorable to Blue Jackets fans for a variety of reasons. It all started with the worst record in the NHL for the 2011-12 season, with the Jackets finishing a full 9 points behind the next closest team in the league. This gave them the best odds to win the 2012 draft lottery, which a lot of us watched with great interest.

But the Edmonton Oilers spoiled the party, winning the first pick and giving them the chance to select Russian sniper Nail Yakupov from the OHL. The Jackets got a nice consolation prize in Ryan Murray, whose career projected very nicely until injuries derailed his development. The next two picks made by then-GM Scott Howson were both goaltenders: Swede Oscar Dansk in the second round, and the next player on our list in the early third round: Joonas Korpisalo.

Jan 30, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

Korpi has spent his entire career with the Blue Jackets thus far, totaling 182 games (4th most in CBJ history), with 76 wins (also 4th all time); a career 90.2% save percentage, and 3.04 goals against average. Read: 2022 Season Preview: Joonas Korpisalo

He developed slowly, not making his debut in the NHL until 2015-16 when the team was in dire need of help due to injuries. He played in 31 games and was stellar, with a career-high 92.0% save percentage that season, giving the team a steady presence on a lot of nights when they should have been well out of things.

He was also part of the magical Calder Cup winning Lake Erie Monsters team that season, backstopping a team loaded with future Jackets to an AHL championship. He would serve as backup with the big squad for the next few seasons, before eventually taking over as one of the two starters (alongside Elvis Merzlikins), after the famed mass-exodus of the 2019 squad.

Jan 8, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) makes a pad save in net against the New Jersey Devils in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) makes a pad save in net against the New Jersey Devils in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Injuries over the past few seasons have stunted his play, but he’s given this team quality goaltending for most of his career. We’ll likely always remember his heroics in the 2020 playoff bubble, when he made an NHL-record 85 saves against the Tampa Bay Lightning. For this reason alone, Joonas Korpisalo will be held in high regards of CBJ folklore.