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BOSTON (CBS) — The third line has been a problem for the Bruins all year long, and despite a glimpse of success on Saturday afternoon against Philadelphia, the team still needs a solid, long-term fix.
Enter Carl Soderberg?
According to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins are close to adding the big-bodied forward to the lineup.
“We’ve been trying for five years to get him over here and it’s close,” Chiarelli told the Boston Herald. “He’s had a hell of a year and he’s grown into a big strong kid now, a man, and he’s told us that he feels he’s ready now. He’s a good player, big strong player. There are still some steps to go, but it looks good.”
That growth has been evident, as he was last listed at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, but according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, he now weighs 225 pounds. The Bruins initially acquired his rights in 2007 in a trade for Hannu Toivonen, but he’s never played professional in North America.
This season, playing for Linkoping HC in the Swedish Elite League, Soderberg finished second in the league in points, scoring 31 goals and adding 29 assists to go with a plus-18 rating.
According to reports, Soderberg will fly to Boston once his playoff run ends in Sweden. Linkoping is the fifth seed, facing off against the fourth-seeded HV71 in a seven-game series. The first four games are scheduled between March 13 and March 19, with games 5-7 scheduled through March 25, if necessary. Linkoping went 4-1 against HV71 this season, outscoring them 19-8.
“I wish them well, because they’ve been great to deal with,” Chiarelli said of Linkoping, according to The Boston Globe. “On the same hand, I’d like the player.”
So it seems like just a matter of time before Soderberg dons a Bruins sweater, but when he does, what type of game will he bring to the NHL?
The 27-year-old has certainly developed his scoring touch, upping his goal total from 14 in 42 games to his 31 in 54 games this season, leading the league in that category by 10 goals. The 49th overall pick (St. Louis) as an 18-year-old in 2004, he’s a center over in Sweden, but with David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell holding those spots, he’d have to play the wing in Boston. He’s a big power forward who has great hands, even when he kicks it into another gear at full speed.
You could read about his game, or you could see for yourself: