An independent blog on the New York Islanders, the NHL and AHL by a guy from New York.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New York Islanders Off-Season: Linus Soderstrom Signs ELC with Islanders

The New York Islanders signed one of their top goaltending prospects (4th round, 95th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft) to a three-year entry level deal today. 20-year-old, Swedish Phenom, Linus Soderstrom is fresh off a 2017 Swedish Elite League Championship for HV71 as a SHL rookie in an exciting, game 7, 2-1 sudden death O.T. finals win. Now he gets a shot to eventually show the Isles what they have in him on North American ice, although its still unknown where he will play professional hockey to start next season. Agent Christian Sjögren eluded to the fact that Soderstrom was close to an NHL contract on 4/29 and Isles country took notice with Arthur Staple later confirming the possibility of a signing.

In international play, Soderstrom represented his native Sweden at the 2015 and 2016 WJC, and the 2014 U18WC. “He was named the tournament's best goaltender in 2016, posting the top goals-against average (1.42) and save percentage (.947).” per Cory Wright.  Soderstrom had a 1.34gaa (best in the league) and a .943SV% for 22 regular season games in Sweden. During his Championship run, he started all 16 games, going 12 & 4 with a 2.11gaa and a .922Sv%, besting Färjestad, Malmo and finally Brynäs en-route to a SHL title for HV71.

“NHL has always been a big goal for me,” Soderstrom said while speaking to the media after his agent mentioned an impending NHL deal. Dan Saraceni & Patrik Bexell did an awesome feature for Lighthouse hockey on Soderstrom’s real story. As if it’s not enough to excel on the international and professional hockey stage, Soderstrom battles Asperger Syndrome, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders in the process and has excelled through a strong support system, personal drive and an unyielding will to compete.

Currently, Christopher Gibson, Stephon Williams and Eamon McAdam are on the roster for Bridgeport and each has made some waves as an AHL netminder. Thomas Greiss just signed and extension and Jaroslav Halak will be in the final year of his contract with New York.

Soderstrom is sure to participate in the Isles Blue and White Scrimmage on 6/29 and then possibly training camp, having a chance to make an impression with new head coach, Doug Weight and his evolving staff. As a fan of goaltending and a huge supporter of the orange and blue, I will be behind Soderstrom and really hoping for his success. Not just because of his affiliation, but also because of his indomitable spirit and force of will.

He will be fun to cheer for, right from day 1.

Isles Notes:

Per Arthur Staple, “No word yet on new assistants, but believe that Luke Richardson will be joining Doug Weight's staff. Possibly one other coaching addition.”

“Nothing official from #Isles, but it appears first offseason change has been made -- assistant coach Bob Corkum won't be back.”

Per Newsday, Captain John Tavares had surgery to repair injured right hand last month.

(AP) NHL has designated list of injured players exempt from upcoming Vegas expansion. (F) Mikhail Grabovski.

Islanders have the 15th pic in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Arthur Staple reminds us, “their four best prospects: Barzal (No. 16), JHS (28), Beau (28), Pulock (15).”

New York Islanders Blue & White Scrimmage is scheduled for June 29th, 2017.

Arena news, per Newsday, “Barclays Center starts process toward possible opt-out of Islanders, sources say."

Worcester Railers Announce Affiliation with New York Islanders.

MWC Notes:

Brock Nelson and Anders Lee named to Team USA. Nelson serves as Alternate Captain.
5/10 – “Team USA's 3-0 win on Wednesday was all-Islanders. Brock Nelson scored a pair of goals and Anders Lee potted one, as the two Islanders accounted for all three goals in USA's 3-0 win over Italy at the IIHF World Championship.” – Cory Wright

Legends as players, Bill Guerin & Chris Drury move into management with the U.S. Men's National Team.

Per Chris Botta, "Someone Isles ownership should speak with: close Weight pal and Penguins AGM Bill Guerin. Smart hockey man, strong leader."

Dennis Seidenberg & Thomas Greiss named to Team Germany at the World Championships in Cologne & Paris.

Prospect Ilya Sorokin selected to the Russia Men's National Team for the 2017 MWC.

“Sorokin contract was a 'renegotiation’. ‘Ilya Sorokin (1995) on new terms renegotiated one-way contract with CSKA for one year" - Stabile

NHL News:

Per Pierre LeBrun, “Devils GM Ray Shero says he has confirmed with agent Jay Grossman that Ilya Kovalchuk definitely wants to return to the NHL next season. Kovalchuk can't officially sign an NHL contract until July 1. So lots of time for all this to play out. But the Kovalchuk sweepstakes are on.” 

Would you want the Isles to acquire Kovalchuk or is he not worth the Cap space?

AHL Notes:

The AHL Board of Governors has approved a new divisional alignment for the 2017-18 season.

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