Detroit Red Wings prospect Elmer Söderblom has been intriguing to watch; here’s what to make of his WJC performance.
The Detroit Red Wings have a bunch of prospects competing at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship taking place in Edmonton, Alberta but Team Sweden houses this piece’s subject. A 2019 sixth-round draft pick of the Red Wings, forward Elmer Söderblom, has been interesting to watch.
While he may not be lighting it up offensively like some of the other talents, but his offensive skill set has been on display even if he is not lighting up the scoresheet. Söderbloom is a 6-foot-8, 238-pound monster that can be a menace in the offensive zone.
There is a lot to like about Söderblom, but there are also some question marks and confusing parts to him, which is to be expected from a sixth-round draft pick. However, with Söderblom making Team Sweden and playing during the 2021 World Junior Championship, he has received more notice.
That being said, here’s a better look into Elmer Söderblom and what the Detroit Red Wings have in the form of their monstrous prospect.
First and foremost, Söderblom’s frame is one of the things that contribute to his positives. Against the Czech Republic early on, Söderblomb showed his net-front presence abilities for a nasty between the legs goal.
This goal is obviously a nasty highlight-reel goal, and it’s one that got people to start thinking about Söderblom, including myself. Again, he is a sixth-round pick, so saying he’s going to get to the NHL and be an absolute stud is wishful thinking, but there is a niche for him.
The most upside Söderblom appears to have is using his size to be a problem in the offensive zone. For now, that upside seems to stop at the idea of him being a niche net-front presence guy. Someone who can clog the middle of the ice, take up space, annoy a goaltender, and quite possibly the defenseman covering him as well.
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The between the legs goal was just a plus. That type of stuff from him is far from likely, but being as big as he is with his reach, he should be able to steal a few goals here and there.
The biggest issue for Söderblom is that he does lose puck battles. However, if he can get stronger, it should be fine.
This should be expected, but it is a question; will he come around and develop and grow into a stronger player with his massive size?
Another question mark for Söderblom’s physical play is noted, but for a big man, he needs to ensure he can skate well too. Another question mark that will be answered as he develops.
But, for now, Söderblom continues playing for Sweden while having a goal and an assist for them so far. Before his time with Sweden in the 2021 WJC, Söderblom had four points in four games at the U20 Juniors level for Frölunda HC.
For the Detroit Red Wings, Söderblom is not someone who is going to be on the roster in the immediate future, but definitely, someone to keep an eye on. He could shape up to be a third-liner who is put on the ice to create havoc in front of the net.
Whether Söderblom is carrying it to the net himself or using his 6-foot-8, 238-pound frame to be a nuisance, the Detroit Red Wings might have stumbled upon something in the sixth-round.