The Colorado Avalanche have acquired center Carl Soderberg from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for prospect Josh Dickinson and the rights to prospect Ryder Rolston.
This is Soderberg’s second tour of duty with the Avalanche. He originally played for them from 2015-2019. With the Blackhawks this season he has seven goals and eight assists through 34 games.
Big Carl Returns to Colorado
Soderberg was a member of the Avalanche during some difficult years. He soldiered on through the disastrous 48-point 2016-17 season. During his time with the team, he played 321 games and produced 151 points. He has always been known for his size and capabilities as a “defensive center,” but he has shown he can still chip in points, too. Last season, in a one-year stint with the Arizona Coyotes, he scored 17 goals and added 18 assists over the course of 70 games. With Chicago his production dipped a little bit, but 15 points in 34 games is not far off his career average of 0.50 points per game.
The Avalanche are banking on Soderberg’s versatility. He’s a capable center, but can also play the wing if needed. His hockey IQ and on-ice awareness are good through all three zones. He’s been a model of consistency throughout his career and he makes the Avalanche better by adding center depth. He’s also a veteran presence with 41 games of playoff experience between the Avalanche, Boston Bruins and Coyotes. It’s a good deal for the team, too, because they didn’t have to part with any top prospects or draft picks to make it happen.
The Pieces Going to Chicago
Dickinson signed with the Avalanche in April of 2018 after a year with Clarkson University. He has never played an NHL game and has spent the majority of his professional career with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. The 23-year-old is a restricted free agent after this season.
The 19-year-old son of former NHL forward, Brian Rolston was picked by the Avalanche 139th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. This season, he had an underwhelming year with the University of Notre Dame. His speed and mobility are the highlights of his game, but he’s still a bit of a raw talent. He likely needs a couple more years in the NCAA before anyone can make a real assessment of his NHL potential.
Why Sell While Still in the Hunt?
The Blackhawks are still in the hunt for the fourth playoff spot in the Discover Central Division, but it seems general manager Stan Bowman has no delusions about his team’s situation. They’ve been very fortunate to get big contributions from young talent within their system. This season was always going to be a year of transition, but the positive contributions from young players has seen the team remain competitive in their division.
Related: Trade Deadline Tracker
Soderberg wasn’t playing a huge role for the Blackhawks anyway, so instead of losing him for nothing at the end of the season, Bowman took the opportunity to get a prospect with a lot of upside. The Blackhawks have done very well with their scouting of other teams’ later picks and have profited greatly for their troubles. This could turn out to be another one of those moves.
Jack Dawkins is a freelance scout, analyst and avid watcher of “way too much hockey.” He has joined The Hockey Writers team to cover all things Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers. He’s an absolute data hound and loves using stats and analytics to calculate and extrapolate data for analysis.