The Detroit Red Wings have had their fair share of a roster crunch throughout the 2022-23 season. It has led to certain players being sent through waivers and others being called upon in the wake of injuries.
But, coming out of the All-Star Break and getting into the second half, the Detroit Red Wings are healthy. With a roster crunch as it is, forward Elmer Söderblom has been stuck at the AHL level playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins after being demoted in 2022.
Head Coach Derek Lalonde recently noted that he’d likely have earned himself a call-up to the NHL level if it weren’t for some of the roster crunches the Red Wings have been facing. But instead, Söderblom has continued to get his work in at the AHL level.
It may not be the worst thing in the world, and honestly could be a good thing for the youngster as he works to settle into the North American game. After all, this is his first year since leaving Sweden for the United States, and he’s got to keep adjusting to the next level of the game, and this time in Grand Rapids should only help him do so.
Detroit Red Wings forward Elmer Söderblom is getting time to develop.
Spending time in the minors for Söderblom is not the worst thing in the world. He’s getting his chances to work on things and improve his game for his next crack at the NHL level. While it was Jonatan Berggren who has made some serious strides in 2022-23, in his second year in North America, it could be a similar track for Söderblom.
The roster logjam has kept him at the AHL level, but after some deadline moves, things could change, and he could get back to the NHL level. Söderblom did get 21 games under his belt with the Red Wings, scoring five goals and adding three assists for eight total points.
However, in 10 games with the Griffins, Söderblom has four goals and two assists for six points. He has shown he can compete at the NHL level, but roster configurations have prevented him from getting there.
He got a nice little sample of the NHL and is with the AHL squad now. It’s not the worst thing in the world, and giving him time to improve areas of his game will only help him. His massive 6-foot-8, 247-pound frame has its downside.
He’s got great hands, but there’s a long-range around him he has to protect from defenders, so making better decisions with the puck and continuing to stay agile only helps. Söderblom has a projectable future, and his time in Grand Rapids could be good for his development path.