At least one element of the future of the Detroit Red Wings is being offered the chance to shine on the world stage. Forward Elmer Söderblom is part of the Swedish national team currently participating in pre-world tournament games.
Söderblom became available to the national team late last week. His club Frölunda was eliminated by Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League semifinals.
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) April 17, 2022
He was selected 159th overall by the Red Wings in the 2019 NHL entry draft. Söderblom is the classic definition of a late bloomer. At 6-foot-8, 249 pounds, it took the 20-year-old winger some time to grow into his massive frame.
This was the year that clearly happened, though. Söderblom led Frölunda with 21 goals, finishing with 33 points in his first full season at the SHL level. He contributed another three goals and three assists in nine playoff games, earning his first invite to skate with the senior national team.
“Elmer Söderblom raise(s) the level on the forward side,” Swedish coach Johan Garpenlov, the former Red Wings forward, told Alftonbladet.se. “Now the level of resistance is also raised a notch.”
The Swedes will be meeting Austria, the Czech Republic and Finland in the Czech Hockey Games in Vienna, Austria, and Ostrava, Czech Republic from April 28–May 1.
Red Wings Raymond Joining Soon
Söderblom will soon have some Red Wings company on the Swedish bench. Once the NHL season concludes at the end of this week, Detroit rookie forward Lucas Raymond is confirming that he intends to be joining the Swedish team for the IIHF World Championship, which is slated for May 13-29 in Finland.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 20, 2022
“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid,” Raymond told Aftonbladet. “To be able to represent Sweden is always an honor. It’s sad that we did not make it to the playoffs, but it opens up opportunities with that.”