Don’t be surprised if Red Wings prospect Soderblom closes off the mark

Don’t be surprised if Red Wings prospect Soderblom closes off the mark


The prospect of the Detroit Red Wings Elmer Soderblom He’s what hockey scouts like to call a late bloomer. Selected 149th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in the sixth round, Soderblom stands out in a crowd today among the club’s top NHL prospects — literally and figuratively.

At 6-foot-8 and 249 pounds, it’s hard not to. Note Soderblom. After a 21-goal season for Frolunda in the SHL, it’s hard to contain the excitement that lies ahead for the 21-year-old Swede.

“He’s a mountain,” the Red Wings hope Simon EdwinsonAt Frolunda, his teammate spoke of Soderblom. “He likes to score goals. He is a good scorer, defender of the ball. He is a very good skater.

“Overall, there has been tremendous growth over the past year. You know him when you see him here for the first time. He’s a very good player.”

Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman, a man not given to hyperbole, also admits to feeling excited about Soderblom’s flowering capacity.

“Based on what he’s done the last two years, his growth, we’re really excited,” Yzerman said. “Of course he’s a pleasant surprise but we need some surprises in our draft. Not everyone can get it, but it looks like he’s got a good chance.

Soderblom needs an adjustment period

When tapped in Soderblom potentialIt might be wise for everyone to hit the brakes. History shows that Soderblom doesn’t climb the hockey ladder in one giant leap. It tends to be more about taking baby steps at each stage of the game.

NHL prospect expert Byron Bader of explained: “He’s got a little bit of a profile. He’s kind of up and down, he’s a little unusual.

The evidence is supporting this assessment. At the U16 level in Sweden, Söderblom’s goal output jumped from two to 23 in his first season. He went from zero goals to 15 consecutive campaigns going into the U18s. At the U20 level, Söderblom’s season-to-season goals tally was 0-9-29. Finally, in the senior SHL, Sweden’s top tier, Söderblom’s three-season goal total was 0-3-21.

“He’s changing leagues and he’s really going to fall and the production is going to go down,” Bader said. “Then he’ll bounce back in his second season in that league.”

“Usually you see good, steady growth. As he moves up and down the leagues, you like to see a nice, steady progression.

Patience may be key with Soderblom.

Yzerman Soderblom is often slow to move up the ladder. His assessment of why an old-school eye test is more likely than the best statistical analysis is true.

“Maybe it’s an unscientific rule, but it seems like older people, it takes a little bit longer to grow into their bodies and they seem to do it,” Yzerman said of Soderblom.

With every step, Soderblom is showing he can handle some growing pains. At the same time, he is proving to be a player worth waiting for.

“When he jumps to the AHL, you can see him take it a little bit and then jump,” Bader said. “It might be a good bet for someone who is late.”

Apparently, Soderblom is coming into his first North American season with a bang.

“I don’t want to praise him too much and try to hype him up, but we’re cautiously optimistic that he’ll be a real NHLer,” Yzerman said.

No one is saying no to Soderblom. His track record, however, is suggesting it won’t be for him this season.

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