On Mar. 1, 2023, the LA Kings general manager Rob Blake shocked the hockey community by acquiring Joonas Korpisalo from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for franchise icon Jonathan Quick. Additionally, Vladislav Gavrikov came to the west coast, while a conditional 2023 first-round and a third-round pick went to Ohio.
Korpisalo comes to LA after eight years of backstopping the Blue Jackets to a 190-87-78 record in his starts. Although he’s only appeared in nine playoff games, his numbers are outstanding, with a .941 save percentage (SV%) and a 1.90 goals-against average (GAA). Furthermore, even though he’s scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season, if he finds success in black and silver, there’s no reason he can’t stick around for years to come.
Here are seven interesting facts about the Kings’ new goalie.
Korpisalo Owns Modern-Day NHL Playoff Save Record
On Aug. 11, 2020, Korpisalo was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets when he set a modern-day NHL record for 85 saves in a playoff game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Although he lost the game in the fifth overtime, 3-2, when Brayden Point scored his second goal of the night, Korpisalo turned away at least one shot from every member of the Lightning roster who played in the game.
Korpisalo Becomes Second Kings Player to Wear #70
While a member of the Blue Jackets, Korpisalo wore #70 and grabbed the number upon his arrival in Los Angeles. Interestingly, he became the second player in club history to don the number after Tanner Pearson wore it from 2014-18, which included a Stanley Cup championship in his rookie season.
Korpisalo Among Today’s Elite Goalies From the 2012 Draft Class
As the top pick (62nd overall) in the third round, Korpisalo was the fifth netminder taken that year, ahead of names like Chris Drieger (76th), Matt Murray (83rd), Frederik Anderson (87th), Connor Hellebuyck (130th), and Linus Ullmark (163rd). Interestingly, the only goalie taken ahead of Korpisalo who has found any success in the league is the Lightning’s Andrey Vasilevskiy.
Although he hasn’t won any awards yet, Korpisalo has logged the fifth most games from any goalie drafted in 2012.
Korpisalo Is One of Four Current NHLers From Pori, Finland
Pori is a city on the west coast of Finland with a population of 83,491 (2021) and is home to four current NHL players. Besides Korpisalo, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Joel Armia (Montreal Canadiens), and Erik Haula (New Jersey Devils) come from the same town.
Historically, 11 players from Pori have suited up for a game in the NHL, with Korpisalo just the second netminder besides Jussi Rynnas (Toronto Maple Leafs/Dallas Stars), who played five games from 2012-2015. Furthermore, he becomes just the second Finnish goalie in Kings’ history, after Markus Mattsson, who played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1984.
Korpisalo’s Father, Jari, Played Professional Hockey for 19 Years
Joonas became the first member of his family to be drafted into the NHL; however, his father, Jari, played one season in the QMJHL before returning home to Finland to play professionally for 19 seasons. Although Jari never made it in North America, he played in 575 games in Liiga, collecting 444 points with 891 penalty minutes. Additionally, he represented Finland at the 1993 World Championships.
Korpisalo Has a Calder Cup Championship on His Mantle
Although Korpisalo has yet to find success in the NHL, outside of a 2020 All-Star Game selection, which he did not attend due to injury, he did win a championship in the minors with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2016. Despite playing only 16 games during the regular season, producing a 7-6-3 record, Korpisalo rebounded in the playoffs, going 6-2-0 in nine starts. Furthermore, even though he had a .898 save percentage, he helped the Monsters win their first championship since relocating from Cleveland in 2007.
Korpisalo Has Surrendered Ten First Career Goals
Through the first 211 games of his NHL career, Korpisalo has given up 598 goals; however, only ten players have scored their first career goals against the Finnish native. Interestingly, those names include Jan Rutta (Chicago Blackhawks), Lucas Raymond (Detroit Red Wings), Michael Rasmussen (Red Wings), Ian Mitchell (Blackhawks), Brandon Hagel (Blackhawks), Ryan Donato (Boston Bruins), Dennis Cholowski (Red Wings), Travis Boyd (Washington Capitals), Nicolas Beaudoin (Blackhawks), and Alex Barre-Boulet (Lightning).
Want your voice heard? Join the Rink Royalty team!