Re: Is Soderberg Playing Tonight?
posted at 4/17/2013 10:29 AM EDT
Some reading while we wait to find out:
What type of player is Bruins' Soderberg?
Boston Bruins forward Carl Soderberg is due in Boston on Wednesday after deciding last week to leave Sweden to sign a contract with the Bruins. NHL.com spoke to two sources in Sweden about what type of player the Bruins are getting, and they had vastly different opinions.
According to an NHL scout who lives in Stockholm and covers the Swedish Elite League, Soderberg gained a reputation as a power forward who struggled to leave his hometown of Malmo and never played as physical as he should have against other physical players.
"He has looked almost scared in the past when playing against physical opponents, mostly North American players," the scout said.
Niklas Wikegard, a former player and coach in the SEL who serves as a television analyst for the league, said Soderberg was slowed a few years ago by a serious eye injury that nearly ended his career. Wikegard added that Soderberg proved this season in Linkoping he can fulfill his potential as a high-scoring, physical, two-way center.
He was second in the SEL with 60 points in 54 games.
"Don't get me wrong here, he's not at Joe Thornton's level of play, but he's a Joe Thornton-type player," Wikegard said. "He's a hard-working, two-way forward. He's strong on the puck, strong on the boards, wins most of the battles, plays physically. I'm talking in the Swedish League now, not the NHL. The people that play over here have a lot of respect for him."
Wikegard warned that Soderberg lost some vision in his left eye when he suffered his injury in 2007 and as a result tends to look to his right to pass the puck off the rush.
The Swedish NHL scout said he thinks Soderberg can produce for the Bruins if he lines up with other skilled players, but he may be struggle in a physical game, especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I think he's a player that you can intimidate," the scout said.
Wikegard said he believes Soderberg's age (27) and experience will help him make an immediate impact.
"He never played there [in the NHL] and the tempo is much higher, but he's not a junior coming in," Wikegard said. "He's a senior personality. He's smart. He's strong, big and he knows what he can do. With respect to the best league in the world, I would absolutely say he can come in and be a good player."