Victor Söderström (Brynäs IF/SHL)
Like Broberg, Victor Söderström is regarded as a two-way defenseman who loves to jump up in the rush and is capable of playing a responsible defensive game.
Unlike Broberg, though, Söderström is expected to fall within the Panthers’ draft range, giving the team an alternative in the event that Broberg is selected before the Cats are on the clock.
Regardless of what happens with Broberg, Söderström is definitely a respectable option and a player who could really improve the Panthers’ blue line.
In addition to his sound defensive awareness and smooth skating ability, Söderström is also a dangerous puck carrier, according to Curtis Joe of Elite Prospects. He can blow a puck by you from any zone and has a great point shot to go along with that, too.
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This past season, Söderström played with Brynäs IF of the SHL, taking part in 44 games and recording 4G, 3A, for 7 points altogether.
His tally, like Broberg’s, may seem underwhelming at face value, but when you consider that Söderström is only 17 years of age playing against men in Sweden’s top league, it’s quite impressive that he cannot only just compete against this level of competition, but that he can also dominate as well.
For me, it’s Söderström’s (and even Broberg’s) game away from the puck that impresses me the most. Söderström is capable of playing “neat and tidy” in his own zone, which is something the Panthers desperately need.
Even better, Söderström isn’t afraid to get physical on and off the puck and has a degree of physicality to his game which Panthers fans would love from a defenseman.
At 6’0″, 183 lbs, Victor Söderström would not only make a fantastic second option to draft behind Broberg, but taking into account what could go down on draft night, Söderström could be the one that the Panthers select at No. 13. And if that’s the case, then it’s a pick I would totally be happy with.
Söderström, like Broberg, is the complete package at the back who can do anything and everything with and without the puck. More importantly, he’s responsible defensively and would give the Panthers a reliable presence on the blue line for many years to come.