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In Praise of Red Wings’ Soderblom; Edvinsson to Debut Wednesday

Elmer Soderblom is impressing the Red Wings brass



Elmer Soderblom, Red Wings
Elmer Soderblom scored a goal in the Red Wings 6-2 preseason win over Pittsburgh.

Elmer Soderblom made a smashing NHL preseason debut for the Detroit Red Wings, scoring a goal Tuesday in their 6-2 win at Pittsburgh over the Penguins.

Fellow Swedish rookie Jonatan Berggren did the leg work on the goal, protecting the puck to the right of the Penguins net and drawing Pittsburgh defenders toward him. Soderblom slipped into a backdoor seam, driving to the net parallel to the far post. With perfect timing, Berggren zipped a pass across to him and Soderblom directed the puck into the gaping cage.

“My first look with Elmer was the first game in Traverse (City) and his big body and soft hands around the net, especially on the power play,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “He got his stick on a couple pucks, went through his legs on a deflection. Just high-level skill stuff, which is very intriguing from a big body.”

Soderblom wasn’t supposed to be playing on Tuesday. He drew into the lineup at the last minute with forward Jakub Vrana fell ill.

“Tough ask of him to play last second, with the fact he played three rookies games,” Lalonde said. “His scheduled day off was moved back a day.

“We called him at 9:30 in the morning to tell him we need you (Tuesday) and he was excited about it. It’s a hard ask of him. But he skated, he competed.

“There’s still some areas in a young guy – puck protect, two hands on the stick, little details for a young player. But it was certainly a positive. I think he reflected most of our guys last night. Very high compete level.”

Soderblom will be playing again Wednesday as the Wings play host to the Chicago Blackhawks in an NHL preseason game at Little Caesars Arena. Soderblom will be skating on a line with NHL veterans Pius Suter and Adam Erne.

Edvinsson Making Red Wings Preseason Debut

Another of the new faces from Sweden will be getting his first taste of NHL action on Wednesday. Defenseman Simon Edvinsson, Detroit’s top pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft (sixth overall), is drawing into the lineup, pairing with Gustav Lindstrom.

“Looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun,” Edvinsson said. “First time actually skating on the big ice.”

Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin will also be seeing action for the first time in the preseason. His excitement level at seeing up close what the 6-foot-8 Soderblom and the 6-for-6 Edvinsson can do against NHLers is palpable.

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“The Swedish basketball team?” Larkin joked. “They look good. They’ve played pro hockey. They pay attention to detail, they’re assertive, they’re calm with the puck, they have poise, they know how to handle physicality.

“They play well with the puck. That’s something that if you have to be taught it takes a while and kind of slows your development.”