When talking about the future of the Red Wings team, especially in the upcoming year, it is crucial to note the outstanding prospects that the organization has. Detroit Red Wings prospect Elmer Söderblom has been tearing up the SHL while playing for Frölunda HC, the same team that Lucas Raymond played for up until the 2021-22 season.
Detroit selected Söderblom in the 6th round of the 2019 NHL Draft, #159 pick overall. It isn’t every day that a 6th round pick is a contender for making the league, but Soderblom is an exception.
Elmer Söderblom is a 6’8” and 238-pound left-handed winger from Göteborg, Sweden. He has spent the last eight seasons in the Frölunda HC organization on a variety of academy teams (U16, J18, J20) and now playing on the SHL Frölunda HC team. In addition to his Frölunda career, Söderblom has played on the Sweden International Junior team and Sweden’s World Juniors team.
So far in the 2021-22 season, Elmer Söderblom has been a real head-turner as he has racked up 17 goals and seven assists in just 38 games. He has had impressive seasons in the past, such as his 2019-20 season on the Frölunda HC J20 team in which he scored 29 goals and 26 assists in 36 games.
Söderblom is a big guy on the ice – there is no questioning that – but he is a big guy who has skillful hands and can not only move the puck, but also shoot it. It is a rarity to have a player of his stature that is gifted with puck handling, can land hits, and who can put up points. He was not talked about a ton leading up to the draft, but in the seasons since the 2019 NHL Draft, he has made himself someone worth talking about to the point in which a question has been raised- could he potentially make the cut for the Detroit Red Wings next season?
As the Yzerplan continues to unfold, more young players are popping up in the roster, most notably Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. Transitioning from an older team to a younger team is putting the Red Wings back on track to be stronger contenders for the Stanley Cup, so where does Söderblom fit in this plan?
Elmer Söderblom is 20 years old and could bring some interesting elements to Detroit, such as the style of play he has for being such a tall guy. He is not an overly physical player, but rather a skilled forward who uses big hits in a tactical way in addition to taking shots on goal. This playing style could be beneficial for the Red Wings offense as a complement to faster skaters with similar puck handling and goal scoring capabilities, such as Raymond, Larkin, Vrana and Bertuzzi. Also, a player such as Söderblom can work in tandem with an offensive defenseman such as Moritz Seider to capitalize on landing these skillful hits in games.
In my opinion, I think there is a strong possibility that we could see Elmer Söderblom wearing the winged wheel next season, if not the one after that. Building this core of young players with different playing styles but the common themes of puck handling and game sense is a call for a player like Söderblom to have a chance in the league.
The Swedish Hockey League is one of the most competitive European leagues, so that is proof that Söderblom can withstand a high level of gameplay and perform incredibly well in those circumstances. Alongside Söderblom, another Swedish prospect, Simon Edvinsson, also has the strong potential of taking the league by storm within the next two seasons.
One thing that is known for certain is that the Yzerplan and the Red Wings seem to have taken a liking to Swedish players.