On the eve of the NHL entry draft, the Colorado Avalanche acquired the rights to Carl Soderberg who was set to become an unrestricted free agent.
The sixth round pick the Avalanche traded for Sodergberg had originally belonged to Boston, but came to Colorado last season in a deal that involved Max Talbot. Soderberg was supposedly asking for a five-year contract making an average of $5 million a year, and the cap strapped Bruins were not in a position to offer him this kind of money.
In just a matter of hours after the trade, it was announced that Soderberg had signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him in Colorado until the 2019-2020 season. The new contract also includes a full no-trade clause for the first two seasons, and a partial no-trade clause for the last three seasons.
While in Boston
Soderberg had played most of his hockey overseas, but finally cracked the Bruins line up during the 2012-2013 season. Since then, Soderberg has played in 161 regular season games, producing 94 points. Soderberg played center on a very talented Bruins team that seemed to under achieve the past couple of seasons but Soderberg stood out.
Soderberg also finished each of the past two seasons with a positive plus/minus rating as well as producing a minimum of 44 points. Despite having less than 200 games of NHL experience, Soderberg is already 29 years old. At the conclusion of his contract with the Avalanche, he will be 34 years old.
With the Avalanche
As soon as the Avalanche signed Soderberg, it became clear what would happen with Ryan O’Reilly in Colorado. In the same day that Soderberg signed his deal, O’Reilly was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. Soderberg will not be the number one center for the Avalanche but will be a solid on either the second or third line. The Avalanche did an excellent job of leveling their roster and adding depth players to back up their top two lines. Soderberg will fit in nice with the young Avalanche roster.
The Soderberg deal was a bargain for both sides especially with what the Avalanche gave up to get him. The Avalanche have made a lot of changes from the time they signed Soderberg to the players they signed via free agency. This will be a deeper and more level team then what was on the ice at the end of last season. Soderberg is going to be a key depth player for this team for many seasons to come.
I am a University of New Mexico journalism student who has been watching NHL hockey since 1996 and I started playing hockey myself in 2003. I have covered both college soccer and volleyball in the past and I also contribute to a NASCAR news website.