Would Carl Soderberg fit into the Rangers lineup next season?
It would not be out of the realm of possibility. With impeding free agents from this past season’s roster to deal with and choices to consider to replace those players whom the team may lose to free agency this offseason, it might be a reality to go in another direction.
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And the Rangers have done a good job of that, in previous seasons.
Soderberg is a 6’3, 213 lbs. center, who could provide beef down the middle. He wouldn’t be a push-over to his opponents and could add that toughness desired by Rangers fans.
Feb 18, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Boston Bruins forward Carl Soderberg (34) skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Assuming Derek Stepan re-signs, the average height of the centers down the middle for the Rangers next season would be 6’0. Soderberg would definitely add height to an already small group of centers.
Used primarily as a third-line center, he could provide a formidable presence on a line with Kevin Hayes.
Originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, he was traded to the Boston Bruins three years later.
Soderberg made his NHL debut for the Bruins during the 2012-2013 season. He appeared in six games and registered two points, all assists.
The following two seasons, he accumulated 91 points (29 goals, 63 assists), carrying a +10 goal differential. Soderberg won 48 percent of his face offs last season for the Bruins.
His best year as a professional came overseas in the Swedish Hockey league, where he spent of his career. Before coming over to the US, Soderberg scored 60 points (31 goals, 29 assists) in 54 games with the Linkopings HC (Hockey Club).
Eliteprospects.com had this to say about the Swedish center:
"A rather complete and well-rounded player. Söderberg is a very talented and highly skilled center with good two-way ability. He has excellent hockey sense, decent nose for the net and fine playmaking ability. Release is good and so are his technical skills and creativity. Not the fastest of skaters, but feet are still pretty good. Controls the puck very comfortably with his reach. Valuable in short-handed situations."
The Bruins organization has made it known that Soderberg is not going to be a player they are interested in signing. This may have resulted from the need to take care of their own free agents, namely defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Also, the team is pushed up against the cap, despite it being projected to be raised next season.
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Another reason for their decision not to extend a contract to Soderberg could be that the team is going in another direction. Their apparent commitment to another prospect Ryan Spooner, who is set to be a RFA next month, is an option that the Bruins feel is priority at the center position.
For further details about Carl Soderberg’s upcoming departure from Boston, check out our Fansided Bruins friends at CAUSEWAYCROWD.COM
Depending on what the Rangers organization wants to do with Stepan and their willingness to bring up prospects like Oscar Lindberg, Soderberg may not be the option at this time.
Feb 4, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalieCam Talbot
(33) battles for the puck with Boston Bruins center Carl Soderberg (34) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Bruins 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
However, he would be a player to consider if contract negotiations for the Rangers gets out of hand and the team is forced to let players walk.
(writer’s note: C, Carl Sodrberg was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on June 25th for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. He would sign a five-year contract, worth $23.75 million)
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