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Top 25U25: Linus Soderstrom could make his mark at #12

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With a commitment to the Islanders organization, Linus Soderstrom edges out the other goalies in the prospect pool as he gets closer to an NHL debut.

Team Russia v Team Sweden
Soderstrom will be playing in North America this season for the first time.

Linus Soderstrom will be playing his 2018-19 season with the Islanders organization, likely starting with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. This is good news for the Islanders, whose goalie prospects all have spent time in Europe. It’s hard to get a read on what those numbers translate to in the NHL, but Soderstrom will be the first goalie prospect that the organization and fans will get to see up close.

Linus Soderstrom has put up decent if unremarkable numbers in the Sweden, between the SHL, Allsvenskan, and with U20 and U18 teams. His breakout season was 2016-17 though, where he put up a .943 save percentage in 22 regular season games with HV71 in the SHL, and a .922 in 16 playoff games, leading his team to a championship. However, after returning from surgery in March 2018 to finish out the SHL season, his numbers took a significant dive, with a .894 in 14 games.

Jenny Spizzwolf Noel Fogelman Travis Flynn CIL Mike B
13 13 12 12 14 11
LHH HockeyGoalieEh garik16 Dominik Steve
12 14 12 9 11

Soderstrom also has been open about his Aspergers’ and ADHD, and he’s used those experiences to grow as a player and person. Hopefully we’ll see him bounce back to his pre-injury numbers with Bridgeport. Given the Isles’ shaky goaltending situation with Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner, we may even see him get an opportunity with the big club.

Rationales:

HockeyGoalieEh:

Soderstrom has passed Sorokin in most NHL ready goalie and is actually controlled by the team. Given that the Islanders currently have two goalies beneath replacement level under contract at the NHL level, it would not be to surprising if he saw some time this year. He might just win the job, too.

Mike B:

This is where being nearly NHL-ready helps. Soderstrom may not be the best of the Isles' young netminders, but he's closest to actually helping the team, perhaps even as soon as this season. It helps that he's generally played well at every stop.

LHH Commenter BA_27 (ranked Soderstrom #9):

I like Soderstrom, but I am curious to see whether he can handle the transition to North America, and it's not just the rink size. I have a relative with Asperger's, and I fear that if the current AHL staff stay in place, they will mishandle him [...] I am worried that the coaching staff will be unable and unwilling to give Soderstrom the attention and understanding he needs.

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