Though it was expected that Linus Soderstrom would not come to North America right away, the New York Islanders made it official today when they loaned Soderstrom back to his Swedish club, HV71. The 20-year old goalie will try to build on his outstanding rookie season in the SHL, where he put up a .943 save percentage and won the league championship.
Soderstrom signed his entry-level contract in May after being drafted by the Islanders back in 2014, and now ranks as one of the top goaltending prospects in the world. His size and mobility will give him a real opportunity for success in the NHL, and it could come earlier than most goaltenders. Soderstrom is on just a one-year deal with HV71, and though there is no reason to rush his development he’s shown enough that he could come across in 2018-19.
The Islanders have struggled in goal for some time, and though they’re obviously not a lock to make or succeed in the NHL, Soderstrom and fellow prospect Ilya Sorokin could make up one of the best young duos in the league. Sorokin unfortunately signed a three-year extension recently in the KHL, meaning it will still be some time before a move to North America is even considered.