Carl Soderberg is as close to being a Boston Bruin as he’s ever been, and it sounds like he’s only getting closer.
Bruins president Cam Neely appeared on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger and Mazz on Tuesday and said “things were looking good,” but he couldn’t and wouldn’t confirm reports that the B’s and the Swede have agreed on a deal.
“I haven’t talked to [Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli] today,” Neely said. “I haven’t heard yet about any release from the [Swedish Ice Hockey] Federation, but I know from our perspective things were looking good.”
Soderberg, a center, has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Black and Gold. While the Bruins sure could use the offensive depth with Patrice Bergeron on the shelf, Neely believes that if Soderberg laces ’em up for the B’s this year, it would be as a winger.
“I think we’d like to try him on the wing first and see if he’s comfortable there,” Neely said. “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.”
The 27-year-old forward was a second-round pick in 2004 stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 207 pounds. His 60 points (31 goals, 29 assists) led the SEL this season.
“He’s played against men in the Swedish Elite League and has had success doing it,” Neely said. “It’s just a matter of getting adjusted to the North American style. But he’s a big body, protects the puck well, he skates well, he’s got a good shot. Really, we have to temper this a little bit, if he does get over here, based on getting adjusted to this style of game.”