I recently had the opportunity to interview 2020 NHL Draft prospect Joel Blomqvist. The 2002 born Kärpät goalie was named the best goalie of the 2019-20 season in the Finnish U20 league. Blomqvist also represented the Finnish U18 national team in several international tournaments over the course of the season.
How do you think your 2019-20 season went?
I think the past season went really well. I played most of the games with Kärpät U20 where I got to play a lot, we managed really well as a team and my own play was also good. I also got to play with the national team which is every time great as you get the opportunity to represent your home country. I also had my Liiga debut, it has been one of my dreams since I was a little kid and it was really great to accomplish it. Unfortunately the season ended a bit earlier than expected, the U20 playoffs were underway when we heard that the season would be cancelled. It was disappointing, because we had all the chances to win the league. But health always comes first.
How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your biggest strengths?
I would describe myself as a calm and mobile goalie. I try to be as calm as possible in net, yet also quick when the situation demands it. I consider skating technique and play reading my strengths.
Which area do you think requires most improvement?
Of course I want to improve in everything, but I think that especially my positioning and stance require improvement.
Do you have a favourite memory from your career so far?
My best memories are from the 2018-19 season which was my first one in Kärpät, we won the Finnish U20 league championship. I also was part of the U17 national team which achieved silver at the World Hockey Challenge in Canada. Also my Liiga debut from the 2019-20 season is one of my favourite memories.
Who has had the biggest impact on your career? Why?
All my coaches have been very important to me, but the most important people on my career have been my family and a coach from my home town Nykarleby, Jan-Peter Lassila. I have practiced with him during my whole career and we are still often in contact with each other. Those people have made my entire career possible and I am very grateful to them.
What kind of goals have you set for the future?
My goals for the future are to play full time in the Liiga and also to play in the NHL some day.
Big thanks to Joel for the interview and best of luck going forward!
Cover photo: Leijonat.fi