Thunderbirds’ Hofer named AHL Player of the Week

Photo: Lucas Armstrong

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Springfield Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Hofer has been selected as the Howies Hockey Tape/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending March 5, 2023.

Hofer stopped 57 of 58 shots over two starts last week, good for a 0.49 goals-against average and a .983 save percentage.

The AHL All-Star goaltender earned his third shutout of the season on Friday night, stopping all 27 shots he faced in regulation and overtime before denying six of seven shootout attempts to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 victory over visiting Hartford. Then on Sunday afternoon in Bridgeport, Hofer extended his shutout streak to 145 minutes and 50 seconds before finishing with 30 saves on 31 shots in a 3-0 loss to the Islanders; it was Hofer’s 12th start this season allowing no more than one goal.

St. Louis’s fourth-round choice in the 2018 NHL Draft, Hofer has a record of 20-14-4 with a 2.58 GAA in 38 appearances for Springfield this season, ranking fourth in the AHL with a .918 save percentage and second in minutes played (2,251). The 22-year-old Winnipeg native represented Springfield at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic last month.

In 88 career AHL games with Springfield, Utica and San Antonio, Hofer is 42-35-10 with a 2.85 GAA, a .910 save percentage and six shutouts. He also went 6-4 (2.56, .934) in 10 postseason appearances in 2022, helping the Thunderbirds reach the Calder Cup Finals, and made his NHL debut with the Blues in 2021-22.