Joel Hofer didn't come into the WHL this season with a lot of hype.

Passed over at 15 in the WHL Bantam draft, Hofer wasn't listed by anyone in the projected rankings for the 2018 NHL Draft.

Ten months later the Winnipeg product not only earned some attention from scouts, St. Louis drafted him in the 4th round.

"With everything you put into it and all the things you go through,"  Hofer said. "It means a lot to be rewarded."

"Goaltenders are tough to draft because in their draft year they don't play as much," Blues Director of Amateur Scouting Bill Armstrong told their official website. "Our goaltending scout was in there, our area scout was in there, we interviewed the kid, we saw him practice, we did everything we could just to get as many glimpses of him as possible. We found out how high he could jump and kind of dissected him as much as possible... he's a big kid. He's raw. He's got a lot of things he needs to work on, but he's got a good foundation for a goaltender. He's got size, quickness, athletic ability and good sense."

Hofer didn't sing the blues after not getting picked two years ago in the bantam draft.

"I just tried to no matter what happened always work hard," he said. "If something were to go wrong like me not getting drafted I'd use it as motivation and work harder. The biggest thing for me was to believe in myself and believe in my abilities."

Hofer went on to put up impressive midget numbers with Pursuit of Excellence in the CSSHL. Listed by the Swift Current Broncos, he won the battle for the back-up job this season and was a part of a WHL Championship season.

"It was amazing," Hofer said. "Even though I didn't play as much (in the playoffs)... it was still awesome to be a part of it and I learned so much from it."

The season was set up very nicely for Hofer as he mentored under strong veteran goaltenders like Logan Flodell and Stuart Skinner.

"Me being their back-up I just tried to learn as much as possible," Hofer said. "I tried to sort of bug them a bit and ask every question I could. They were both great role models for me."

With a 2.61 goals against average and 0.914 save percentage Hofer turned heads in St. Louis. Now with Skinner sigend in Edmonton he will have to take the next step with the Broncos as their likely starter this fall.

"I've still got lots of work to do," he noted.  "I'm going to keep working hard in this off season and hopefully coming into camp I'll prove myself."

The Blues will hold their development camp next week.

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