With free agency looming on July 1, many teams are desperately trying to resign their key players before they hit the open market. One player who can be valuable to the New York Rangers’ lineup could be Boston Bruins’ soon to be free agent centerman, Carl Soderberg.
The 6’3″, 216 pound center from Sweden would add size and grit to the Rangers lineup down the middle. He is currently twenty-nine years old and had a cap hit of $1 million last season.
He was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2004 and traded to the Bruins in 2007. He made his NHL debut in the 2012-2013 season and only played in six games. He has only continued to grow as a player and develop his game into a reliable player.
Last season, he played in all eighty-two games and registered thirteen goals and forty-four points. Although his face-off percentage may not be stellar from last year (48.2%), he still has room to grow. If you compare him to the centers in New York, his average was better than Derek Stepan (44.1%) and Kevin Hayes (36.3%).
Soderberg is a solid two way player and is highly skilled. He is very skilled and clearly has excellent hands and can put up solid numbers during the regular season. He may not be the fastest player, but his hockey sense is outstanding and can only strengthen Blueshirts when they are on the penalty kill.
The Bruins’ organization has made it known that they will not be bringing him back. They have multiple free agents to take care of, including Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Spooner.
Adding Soderberg would add depth down the middle and only make the team stronger. He can play on the third line with Kevin Hayes playing his natural position on the wing.
However, General Manager Glen Sather has big decisions to make before July 1 hits. He has players such as Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Jesper Fast, and J.T. Miller to resign. The front office has also made it known that they will be giving some players in Hartford a “very close look,” including Oscar Lindberg. So it all depends on how contract negotiations go with the pending free agents.