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Penguins Report Card: Full Joel Blomqvist Scouting Report (+)



Joel Blomqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins prospect scouting report
Joel Blomqvist: Photo courtesy of WBS Penguins

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Two games and two similar results. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins faced the potential end of their season with a loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday in the best of three Opening Round series, but in addition to the team incentives, WBS goalie Joel Blomqvist had everything to play for.

For Blomqvist, 22, the challenge was simple: play well in the playoffs and earn an NHL spot for next season. Essentially, that was the barter Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas laid at the fee of his 6-foot-1 Finnish goalie.

Last week, Dubas used the phrase “assert himself” regarding what the Penguins goalie had to do.

“We have a situation where we have a young goaltender that’s also pushing, Joel Bloomqvist,” Dubas said. “We’re going to use this next stretch of weeks, the last two games with (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins) … and then really (important), the playoffs with Wilkes. How does Joel play? Can he assert himself at that level? And then we’ll have more information on how we want to go ahead with our goaltending.”

Given Blomqvist’s regular season performance, it was both a challenge and expectation. In the AHL regular season, Blomqvist posted a .921 save percentage and was the team’s representative at the All-Star Game.

In Game 1, Blomqvist made 30 saves on 32 shots. It was a battling performance that WBS coach J.D. Forrest conceded wasn’t his cleanest.

WBS and Lehigh Valley played 12 times in the regular season, so there were no surprises.

However, the playoffs are a better test. The heightened intensity created a speed and dynamic that was a cut above the AHL regular season.

It was a great test to see if Blomqvist can handle the NHL game. After scouting Game 1 in Wilkes-Barre and Game 2 in Allentown (home ice for Lehigh Valley), Blomqvist painted a pretty clear picture.

And the next question will be if the answer is received.

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