Joël Hofer will be back. It’s impossible to say when, but the 21-year-old goaltender has given full indication in two starts with the Blues that he’s made for a successful NHL goalie.
With the save Ville Husso back from the COVID roster and ready for game action, Hofer has been fired to the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL. The time spent in the American Hockey League will serve him well; Hofer needs seasoning.
But after being plunged into difficult situations in both starts, he gave the Blues a chance to win both games. Which, after all, is what you’re looking for in a goalie every time.
“He’s another guy that we saw unexpectedly last year in January and caught the attention of our guys with his work ethic, with his ability to play the game,” the GM said. Doug Armstrong last week. “It’s really positive to see young players like that come in, who not only have talent but also the right characteristics to be part of an organization.”
The other player Armstrong referred to in those comments was forward Jake Neighbors. The two were fortunate enough to spend more time with the Blues after last season’s training camp in taxi teams created last season to provide a pool of readily available replacements in the event of positive COVID tests among players. from the active list of a team.
Because the Western Hockey League (in Neighbors’ case) and AHL (in Hofer’s case) had late starts last season, the Blues kept both players on the taxi team – and they stood out.