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Avalanche season grades: Carl Soderberg

Adrian Dater Avatar
July 9, 2018

Carl Soderberg, like just about everybody and everything associated with the Colorado Avalanche in 2016-17, had a terrible time of things. Six goals, 14 points in 80 games, minus-26, for a 48-point team. Not exactly great value the Avs got for their $4.75 million they paid the Swedish centerman.

Thankfully for Carl, things got a lot better in 2017-18. Let’s take a deeper look and give a final season grade:

Overview

Probably the most amazing factoid of Soderberg’s solid comeback season: he started the season as a healthy scratch. On opening night, at Madison Square Garden, he was on the scratch list. Trust me, things were tense around him in those 48 hours until the next game. It seemed like this was just a bad, bad situation, with no way out.

Turns out, the way out started that next game. While the Avs lost to New Jersey, Soderberg played and scored a goal and probably was their best forward. Soderberg settled back in to being the player he had been before – strong on the puck, good in the corners, strong around the net and responsible defensively.

He had three different two-goal games on the season, including a pair Jan. 6 against Minnesota, a big win for the team. He was part of a pretty good penalty-killing unit and was probably the team’s most respectable faceoff man, which, at 45.3 percent, isn’t saying a lot.

Soderberg probably should have been a 20-goal scorer (he finished with 16). Sometimes he overpasses. Sometimes he waits a hair too long to shoot pucks despite good time and space. He has the size and skill to probably get more offense if he really focused on it. He finished with 37 points, but was on pace for 50 at times earlier in the season. Like several players down the stretch, he struggled offensively.

But overall, it was a good season for No. 34. He is the team’s oldest player, at 32, but this past season made clear: Soderberg still has some good hockey left in him.

Biggest Moment

I’m going to go with that two-goal game on Jan. 6 in that 7-2 win over the Wild. I thought that was a turning-moment part of the season, that helped the Avs get over that mental hurdle they had with the Wild especially. It was the kind of win that really helped the Avs believe they could make the playoffs.

What’s Next

Soderberg has two years left on a contract with a $4.75 million cap hit. He’ll be back as the team’s third-line center. I know, by ice time, he could technically be called a second-line center, but I’m sticking with a third-line designation.

Final Grade

B

This is the right grade I think. He had a nice season. Not great, no, but a nice season. He works hard out there, is pretty durable and, as he showed again, a pretty effective player when it’s going well.

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