Last season was a wild ride for goalie Linus Söderström, who went from free agent signee to record-setting champion in the span of a few months. Now comes the even more difficult challenge of defending that Swedish Hockey League title.
But before the regular season can start, Söderström and HV-71 are participating in the Champions Hockey League, the 26-team tournament of winners and other notable first tier teams from all across Europe. Unfortunately, in their group stage opener on Thursday, HV-71 got steamrolled by Adler Mannheim of the German DEL, 4-1.
After the game, Söderström talked with our friend Patrik Bexell of Eyes on the Prize and gave his thoughts on the upcoming season, following up last season’s success and his immediate future in the SHL.
You can listen to it below, *No Swedish Required.
If you can’t or don’t want to listen, basically he says he feels much better going into this season than last, but he’s still looking to improve his game, particularly his strength and speed. Although he participated in the Islanders mini camp in June, don’t expect to see Söderström when rookies report on September 7th. He says that although coming to the U.S. is great, he would prefer to stay in Sweden and focus on playing in the SHL this season and being the defending champs. Hey, man, no argument here.
And a belated Happy Birthday to the fourth round draft pick, who just turned 21 on August 23rd.
Thanks so much to Patrik for getting this for us and keeping us abreast of all things Linus. HV-71’s next Champions Hockey League game is Sunday versus Denmark’s Esbjerg Energy.