Hot on the heels of leading HV71 to a championship in the Swedish Hockey League last month, goalie Linus Söderström has agreed to a three-year entry level deal with the Islanders.
Söderström went 12-4 in the SHL playoffs with a .922 save percentage, helping HV71 sweep Färjestad in the first round and beat Malmo in five games in the second. The final went the full seven games and Söderström made 29 saves in HV71’s 2-1 overtime win in Game 7. In the regular season, he went 15-3-4 with a .943 save percentage in 22 games and his six shutouts matched a league record held by some guy named Henrik Lundqvist.
We’ve followed the 20-year-old fourth round pick for a while around here, from his remarkable run at the 2016 World Junior Championship that saw him named Best Goaltender of the tournament, to his frank discussions about his Asperger Syndrome and ADHD. He seems like a very humble kid off the ice and - at least, judging by the highlight videos of his recent playoff run - a pretty cool customer on it.
A few weeks ago, Newsday’s Arthur Staple said a deal was being worked on and that Söderström would most likely stay in Sweden for another year after signing. With five goalies in North America already signed*, that’s probably the easiest thing to do, but who knows. It seems we’ll see Söderström at this year’s prospect camp, so we’ll probably learn more then.
Welcome aboard, kid. Helluva year you’ve had. Keep it going.
Very proud and honored to be a part of @NYIslanders— Linus Söderström (@SoderstromLinus) May 11, 2017
* - Give you one guess who the only UFA is. Yup, the guy who spent most of the year in the Barclays Center press box.