St. Louis Blues: The Emergence of Joel Hofer

 Joel Hofer's 2023-24 performance doesn't come as a surprise to him. Undeniably, he may have felt undervalued and under the radar in the past, as this season proved to be the best professional season of his young career.
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins
St Louis Blues v Boston Bruins / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Joel Hofer's unexpected success in the NHL caught the attention of numerous individuals, rapidly propelling him to become a well-known figure among hockey fans.

General manager Doug Armstrong had a good feeling about Joel Hofer's future, and the decision to rely on Hofer seems to be working out just perfectly.

Has Joel Hofer of the St. Louis Blues exceeded expectations?

Joel Hofer is only 23 and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Hofer's name was well-known among the St. Louis Blues faithful, but his unexpected rise as a dependable goalie caught the rest of the hockey world off guard.

Prior to the start of this past season, Hofer had participated in a total of eight games.

Hofer played in a total of 30 games, starting in 27 during the 2023-24 season.

He had a save percentage of .914, almost mirroring that of Jordan Binnington (.913). In total, Hofer defended 830 shots.

St Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington sets the perfect example for Hofer to follow

Hofer may have a slight advantage compared to Binnington's career start.

Hofer has achieved the milestone of reaching the NHL at a faster pace than Binnington did.

Armstrong can only hope that Hofer will be able to replicate Binnington's success, as this would give him a formidable duo of two highly skilled goaltenders.

While it may be premature to have such high expectations and accolades, Hofer, despite being a young goaltender, not only showed up to play but also played a significant role in leading the St. Louis Blues to several victories.

With one season of experience under his belt, it will be interesting to witness how Hofer performs in the upcoming seasons. In order for a playoff contender to be considered a serious threat, it is crucial to have a formidable tandem of goaltenders who can raise the level of play to championship standards. Hofer may be positioning himself for that specific talent.