2021-22 Team: Vasteras IK/HockeyAllsvemskan
Date of Birth: Mar 29, 2003
Place of Birth: Goteborg, Sweden
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 183 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 Eligible
Sometimes, the worst thing an NHL Draft prospect can be is average. This can put you into an awkward spot, where you’re not a lock to hear your name called, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise for a team to take a chance on you later in the draft.
For overage Swedish goaltender Ian Blomquist, average is about where he falls as a goaltending prospect. Now, this isn’t a slight against his play or his future, however, as average prospects still get drafted and develop into legitimate NHL’ers all the time, they just often take a little more time.
Related: THW’s 2022 NHL Draft Guide
The positive for Blomquist is that the 2022 goaltending class is relatively weak, meaning that being average doesn’t actually put him that far down on draft boards. He has the size of an NHL starter, and while his toolkit isn’t exceptional, it still holds a lot of talent that could be developed by the right team.
He also started the 2021-22 season strong and was at the midpoint of the season the #2 European goaltending prospect according to NHL Central Scouting. While his season eventually ended with an average 15-14 record, that shows there is some legitimate talent to develop. Also, it’s worth noting that Blomquist signed a two-year contract to play against men in Sweden, meaning he will be taking on starting time against top talent, which could be a boon for his development.
Ian Blomquist – NHL Draft Projection
Under normal circumstances, Blomquist would likely be a late-round selection at the draft, or he would get passed over entirely. However, the 2022 draft is not normal for goaltenders. The gap between the first goaltender selected and the last isn’t as wide as most years, meaning those average prospects may hear their name called earlier than expected.
Given his toolkit, he could be seen as a second-tier goaltender who would be selected as early as Round 4 or a project that doesn’t hear his name called at all. Despite this, I believe Blomquist has enough positives that I would expect him to be drafted, somewhere around the late fifth to the early sixth round.
Despite being an overage goalie, Blomquist was off to a good enough start to be ranked second for European goalies at midterm. But he dropped six spots after not being able to maintain his start. He finished with a 15-14 overall record with Vasteras. He has things to like such as his 6-foot-2 frame. But consistency was an issue at different points.
Nothing flashy and, honestly, nothing prominent stands out. In several viewings — including a most recent friendly match — Blomquist demonstrated the ability to make big saves. He was square to the puck and in good position on consistent basis. However, at the same time he gave up several soft goals and pucks went through him a little too easily.
David Di Paolo– (From Ian Blomquist Game Report – FCHockey, May 16, 2022)
- Big Frame
- Signed to play against men in Sweden
- Understands how to make the most of his size
Under Construction- Improvements to Make
While Blomquist is a good goaltender, he lacks consistency. He dominated the first half of the 2021-22 season but struggled in the second half. He needs to get better at the details of his game before he will be able to take that next step in his career.
When it comes down to it, Blomquist is a big, talented goaltender whose talent is raw and lacks consistency. This sort of player will need time to develop (and a lot of it) before they will be able to reach an NHL gig or even take over a starting role in the AHL.
However, Blomquist is in a great position to get that time. He will be playing against men in Sweden, and once that contract finishes, he will be old enough to make the jump to the AHL if he is ready. There he could play for two or three years to get used to North American ice before being ready to take that next step in his career. If things go well, he could break into the NHL by age 25.
Risk- Reward Analysis
Risk- 3/5, Reward 3/5
Ian Blomquist Statistics
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.