Korpisalo begins WJC camp with shot at No. 1 job

Monday, 08.05.2013 / 10:30 AM
By Rob Mixer - BlueJackets.com / CBJ Today

When Joonas Korpisalo was drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2012, he raised some eyebrows when asked about his goal for the upcoming season.

"I want to be the No. 1 goalie in Columbus," he told reporters at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. He did so with a straight face.

A bright-eyed, over-the-moon excited Korpisalo didn't mean he was eyeing the top job in the years ahead. He was talking about 2012 and being the Blue Jackets' starting goaltender, and while it seemed a bit ambitious for a kid who had his name called 15 minutes prior, that's just who he is: a driven and extremely competitive player who has taken a lot in his short time working with Blue Jackets goaltending coach Ian Clark and applied those lessons to his budding career in Finland.

This week marks the beginning of Finland's 2014 World Junior evaluation camp, and as one of two goaltenders invited to Lake Placid, Korpisalo has a realistic chance of being the team's No. 1 goalie when the tournament begins in December.

He's made a strong case for himself in Finland, as well.

Last season was his fourth with the Jokerit organization - where Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen served in the same role before arriving in Columbus - and Korpisalo made 31 appearances at the junior level and in SM-liiga's second division. Korpisalo made 13 starts for Jokerit's junior club and was later loaned to Kiekko-Vantaa in the second division, where he saw action in 18 games, posting a 2.71 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

Korpisalo is under contract with Jokerit for this season, which means he'll be squarely on the Finnish management group's radar as he vies for a spot on the national junior team.

And while this week's evaluation camp (which also features camps for the United States, Canada and Sweden) is not the end-all-be-all for a young player's chances at his national junior team, the up close and personal look at a very limited group of kids (Finland has 24 players in camp) can be a significant step forward for those who play well. Part of the camp is a mini-tournament between the four teams, so Korpisalo should see some game action throughout the week.

Stay tuned to BlueJackets.com and the CBJ Today blog for the latest from this week's evaluation camps.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 3 3 1 1 4
B. Dubinsky 3 0 4 0 4
M. Calvert 3 2 1 3 3
R. Johansen 3 1 2 0 3
B. Jenner 3 1 2 -1 3
D. Savard 3 0 3 1 3
C. Atkinson 3 1 1 1 2
D. MacKenzie 3 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 3 1 0 0 1
J. Skille 3 0 1 -1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 2 0 .904 3.32
 
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