You may not be too fond of the uniform that the St. Louis Blues goaltending prospect has been wearing. The Portland Winterhawks of the WHL sport a logo and color scheme similar to that of the rival Chicago Blackhawks. The Winterhawks are in no way affiliated with Chicago, but Portland’s original uniforms in 1976 were Chicago Blackhawk hand-me-downs and they’ve rolled with the scheme ever since.
About a month ago, the Winterhawks sent the Swift Current Broncos 6 WHL Bantam draft picks for Joel Hofer. This included two 1st round picks from 2019 and 2021, a 2nd round pick in 2020, a 3rd round pick from 2019, a 4th round pick in 2020, and a 5th round pick from 2020.
Forget about the uniform. Here’s something Blues fans can be proud of.
Our boy Joel Hofer has since played 5 games for Portland and holds a 4-1-0 record. In these 5 games, Joel has posted a very impressive 1.59 Goals Against Average and a .946 Save Percentage.
In Joel’s first game as a Winterhawk, he saved 23 of 26 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Prince Albert Raiders. His second, he saved 33 of 34 in a 5-1 win over the Everett Silvertips. In his third game, Joel saved 26 of 28 as the Winterhawks went on to win 4-2 against the Tri-City Americans. His 4th was against the Seattle Thunderbirds. He made 21 of 23 saves and Portland won 3-2. Joel’s 5th and most recent performance was a 37 save shutout over the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
This change of scenery has proven positive for Joel. The Portland Winterhawks are 30-13-3 with 2 shootout losses. Hofer’s old club, the Swift Current Broncos are 10-34-2 with 1 shootout loss.
A new system, winning ways, and a confident group.
This is a team that wanted Hofer to polish off their roster and make it complete. The Portland Winterhawks are now 2nd in the US division with 65 points in 48 games played. Among the league, they rank 4th out of 22 teams. The Winterhawks felt that adding Joel Hofer would better their chances at a WHL Championship and they’ve gone for it.
In the US Division, the Winterhawks are currently chasing the 1st place Everett Silvertips (72 points). Portland has one game in hand on Everett. The Winterhawks are 12 points ahead of the 3rd place Tri-City Americans (53 points) who have 2 games in hand on Portland.
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