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Goalie Blomqvist Signs Amateur Tryout Agreement with WBS



Pittsburgh Penguins, Joel Blomqvist

Remember goaltending prospect Joel Blomqvist? A second-round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2020 draft, he made a good impression last summer at the team’s development camp, then did not attend training camp in September and played this season in his native Finland.

Now comes word that Blomqvist has signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

It means he likely will play at least a game or two there. Even if he were to earn a contract with WBS or the Penguins, he would not be eligible to play in the NHL this regular season or in the playoffs.

Here is the full news release from WBS:

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed goaltender Joel Blomqvist and forward Jami Krannila to amateur tryout agreements.

Additionally, the Pittsburgh Penguins have reassigned defenseman Peter DiLiberatore from Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton to their ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers. Defenseman Chris Ortiz has also been reassigned by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Wheeling.

Blomqvist was a second-round draft pick (52nd overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2020. The 21-year-old netminder just completed his season playing for Oulun Kärpät of the Finnish Liiga. In 21 games with Kärpät, Blomqvist posted a 6-5-8 record, 2.29 goals against average, .907 save percentage and one shutout. During his 45-game Liiga career, the native of Uusikaarlepyy, Finland is 14-9-13 with a 1.92 GAA, .918 save percentage and six shutouts.

Blomqvist appeared in one game on an ATO with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the end of last season. He turned away 25 of 27 shots faced in a loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds on Apr. 23, 2022.

Krannila joins the Penguins from St. Cloud State University, where he played four seasons of collegiate hockey. Krannila led the Huskies with 40 points (21G-19A) in 41 games this season. He also finished second on the team in goals in both his junior and senior campaigns.

In 143 total games with St. Cloud State, the left-hand shooting forward from Pori, Finland generated 52 goals and 55 assists for 107 points. Prior to college, Krannila lifted the Clark Cup with the Sioux Falls Stampede as champions of the United States Hockey League in 2019.

DiLiberatore was acquired by the Penguins organization in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on Mar. 1, 2023. The Quinnipiac University product skated in eight games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after the trade, notching two goals and no assists.

Ortiz has dressed in 15 games for the Penguins this season, gathering three assists. In 39 contests with the Nailers, the 22-year-old blueliner has four goals and 24 assists for 28 points.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tomorrow, Wednesday, Apr. 5, against the Charlotte Checkers. Puck drop for the Penguins and Checkers is 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.