For the first time in five Swedish Hockey League seasons, Frolunda HC has a 20-goal scorer and he’s a Detroit Red Wings prospect.
Elmer Soderblom opened the scoring Thursday with what proved to be the game winner as Frolunda blanked Leksand IF 3-0. He later added an assist. Simon Edvinsson, Detroit’s top pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft, also drew an assist on a goal by ex-Wings forward Jan Mursak.
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) February 19, 2022
For Elmer Soderblom, it was his 20th goal of the season. The tally moves him into a tie for third in SHL goal scoring.
The lanky 6-foot-6, 210-pound left-winger, selected 159th overall by the Red Wings in the 2019 NHL entry draft, is the first Frolunda player since the 2017-18 season to reach the 20-goal plateau.
If he does as well in the NHL as Frolunda’s previous 20-goal scorer, Red Wings fans will be delighted. In 2017-18, Victor Olofsson netted 27 goals for Frolunda. In 2019-20, as an NHL rookie with the Buffalo Sabres, Olofsson counted 20 goals.
It’s been a big leap forward for the big forward this season. Soderblom counted just three goals in 28 games last season.
Patience Paying Off For Red Wings Prospect Soderblom
“Just be patient and just practice every day,” Soderblom, 20, said of his progression as a player.
He displays a silky-soft pair of hands in tight around the net. And he’s also displayed this kind of offensive production at lower levels. In 2019-20, playing for Frolunda’s under-20 team, Soderblom collected 29 goals and 26 assists in 36 games.
If there’s one thing the Red Wings are displaying a need for this season, it’s size at forward. Soderblom certainly fills that bill.
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) March 3, 2022
If there’s a concern about it, though, watching video of his play for Frolunda, Soderblom isn’t using his size to his advantage. He’s not scoring a lot of goals where he’s a true net-front presence. He’ll also need to play the game at a much faster pace on North American ice.
Jonatan Berggren, seventh in SHL scoring last season, is making similar adjustments to his game during his rookie pro campaign with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.
Soderblom recognizes that the game he’s playing now isn’t likely to be the game he’ll be playing when he gets to North America.
“It’s a fast league,” Soderblom told SHL.se of Sweden’s top league. “It’s always full speed ahead, but with control in a way. The attacks are pretty long with cycle games in the O-zone and lots of passing plays, setting things up.
“Compared to North America . . . over there, shooting comes first and everyone crashes the net to get the rebounds. Here, the play is more controlled. You try not to shoot unnecessarily.”