Soderberg is supposed to join the club this week, perhaps Wednesday, but given all of the hold-ups in the process to this point, Julien is going to wait until that finally happens until he determines how he’ll use the big forward.
“I don’t know because he’s expected to be here Wednesday; we know he was expected to be here before, so I’ll wait and see when he gets here,” Julien told reporters following Monday’s morning skate in advance of the Bruins’ matchup with Ottawa. When he gets here, he’s going to get a chance to practice with us and we’ll see how he feels and how ready he seems to be.”
Soderberg is actually a center, but with the Bruins’ depth down the middle as well as the transitional period Soderberg will likely go through coming from the European game to the NHL, it might make sense to use him at the wing. Bruins president Cam Neely revealed last week that Soderberg may indeed start on the wing when he finally hits the ice for the B’s.
“I think we’d like to try him on the wing first and see if he’s comfortable there,” Neely told 98.5 The Sports Hub last week. “Obviously playing center at this level is not as easy as it may appear, with the coverage down low and in both corners. That part of the game takes some time, but who knows how quick a study he may be. Right now our thoughts are to see how he does on the wing.”
Julien admitted that he’ll have to take some time to see how Soderberg fits in before the decision is made.
“Obviously, I’m going to chat with my coaches and upper management and look at what kind of a plan we have for him and go form there,” the coach said Monday. “I think we all have to be on the same page because he’s a guy coming from overseas. Just the trip itself and the change of time plays a certain role. We want to make it a successful transition for him. We’ll make that decision based on when he gets here.”
Soderberg scored 31 goals and added 29 assists in 54 games in the Swedish Elite League this season before joining the Bruins.