Victor Soderstrom – Selected 16th overall in the 2019 NEFHL Entry Draft
Soderstrom has already started playing against men, having suited up in 44 games for Brynas’ main club in the SHL in 2018-19, and another 15 this season. He finished last season with the most points by an under 18 year old, junior-aged player and has so far amassed nine points in those 15 games so far this season. Having consulted several online sources, Soderstrom is often described as patient, poised, calm and calculated.
He has a lot of strengths and it’s easy to see why The Coyotes moved up a few spots to snag him as the 11th overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Defensively he has great positioning, sports a quick and active stick, battles hard in the corners and clears a path for his goalie to spot the puck. He’s described as an elite skater with great speed and acceleration, and has great edge work. This allows him to be tough to beat one-on-one and has an effective two-way game as well.
On the offense, he has a great first pass exiting his own end and has great vision. His superb hockey IQ allows him to make smart decisions. He has a quick release on his wrist shot, often catching goaltenders off guard. He’s always moving – his compete level is highly regarded.
His shot accuracy and slap shot power need to improve if he hopes to make an impact at the next level. He is relatively small but makes up for his with a great center of balance and still plays a physical game when he needs to. Adding some muscle will benefit him greatly.
Currently he’s representing Team Sweden at the World Junior Championships where he has registered six points in 5 games, with a matchup against Russia up next on Saturday in the first of the semi-final games for a chance to play for the championship. The winner of this matchup will take on the victor of the Canada/Finland game happening later that day.
Potential: Middle pair with an upside of being a top 2 d-man, with time on both special teams units.