What To Expect From The Newest Bruin: Carl Soderberg
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli has done what Ishmael could not; He has landed his white whale, or in this case Carl Soderberg. Soderberg has signed a three year entry level contract worth $600k this season, and $1 million per season for the next two, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.
The big swede has played nearly his entire career in tL orSwedish Elite League. Most recently he has played for the Linkoping HC where he enjoyed career highs this season in goals, assists, and +/-. With the Lions, Soderberg scored 31 goals, 29 assists, and a +18 in 54 games.
Standing at 6’3′ and weighing in at roughly 200lb, Soderberg has finally decided to join the Boston Bruins after they acquired him back in 2007 in exchange for goaltender Hannu Toivonen. Rumors of him coming to Boston began leaking out following the B’s win over the Hurricanes Monday night. The news was first reported by Bruins analyst Kirk Luedeke, you can follow him on twitter here.
So what can you expect from Carl Soderberg? Well for starters he is an excellent depth pickup for a Bruins team that has had its injury struggles as of late. With Patrice Bergeron going down recently, the B’s needed to add some depth at the center position to give Coach Claude Julien more to work with. It is also clear Rich Peverley is having a down year, and Chris Kelly’s return from injury will garner a cautious approach in how they use him.
Soderberg’s advantage is his size, which he uses to protect the puck. He is considered very strong with the puck on his stick, and is said to possess an excellent hockey IQ. Nothing with him is certain though, given the fact he has never skated on NHL ice before and will be entering the league as a 27 year old rookie. It is not uncommon for good career European leaguers to give the NHL a shot, following an excellent career overseas. The Anaheim Ducks’ goaltender Viktor Fasth has been outstanding this season as a 30 year old rookie, helping them return to their playoff form after a couple of years missing the postseason.
I would expect the Bruins to put him into the lineup after a few good practices, with perhaps some action in Providence. I could be wrong, they could put him right into the lineup, as his size will be a welcome advantage to the team heading into the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. If and when he does join the Bruins, he will likely be slotted in on the third line with any variation of Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, and Jordan Caron. He could also see time on the B’s much maligned powerplay unit for a unique look as it is doubtful any team in the NHL has an extensive scouting report on him.
The Bruins have done well adding skill and size going into the stretch. The additions of Jaromir Jagr and Carl Soderberg bring two 6’4″ 200+lb wingers to a team already loaded with size up front with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. I believe the Bruins are expecting him to contribute right away, though it is only speculation. The important thing here, is the Boston Bruins have finally landed the big skilled winger after years of uncertainty. The B’s have him for the next three years… pending his official release from the SEL of course.
Soderberg was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues with the 49th pick, in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
You can follow me on twitter here for all Boston Bruins news and notes. @Mattjacob64