Monday, May 13, 2024

Blackhawks Sign Arvid Soderblom To Two-Year Deal

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The Blackhawks finally appear to have the net officially locked down for the 2023-24 season. It was announced Wednesday morning that goaltender Arvid Soderblom was being signed to a two-year contract extension that carries an annual cap hit of $962,500. The deal runs through the 2024-25 campaign, after which he will be a restricted free agent at the age of 25.

The 23-year-old goalie spent much of last year with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL but has flirted with the big-league club before. With the IceHogs, he went 15-12-5 while posting a .905 save percentage and a 2.92 goals-against average. He helped the team get into the second round of the postseason with a series of strong games in the recent Calder Cup Playoffs.

He played in 15 NHL games last season while Petr Mrazek struggled with injuries. While he went 2-10-2 with a .894 save percentage, he was playing behind a defense that gave up more goals than anyone else in the league. His confidence was eventually shaken when he allowed seven goals to a high-powered Rangers offense in December, and he was sent back down after the game. It took him a while to regain his footing in Rockford, but he was eventually able to get back to being a force between the pipes for the remainder of the season.

Soderblom is expected to return to the Blackhawks full-time with the likely departure of veteran Alex Stalock, who was only signed to a one-year deal. He’ll split netminding duties with Petr Mrazek, who is entering the final year of his contract at age 31.

The Future In The Net?

As he was set to become a restricted free agent this summer after his initial two-year deal, this move likely means the Blackhawks believe they have their goaltender of the future. He’ll be able to learn anything he doesn’t know alongside Mrazek, who is an 11-year veteran. As Soderblom moves up, he’ll also be making space on the AHL roster for Drew Commesso, the 20-year-old goaltender who was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft at 46th overall. Commesso will hopefully flesh out his game quickly, as the ideal scenario portrays a 2024-25 season where the net is shared by Soderblom and Commesso. With Mrazek leaving, the Blackhawks could have the opportunity to lock down the position with homegrown talent rather than bringing a veteran in on a one or two-year deal as they did with Stalock or Marc-Andre Fleury before him.

As 17-year-old prodigy Connor Bedard is nearly guaranteed to be on the roster come October, Soderblom will need to learn consistency at the NHL level pretty quickly, as a player like Bedard should be able to move the rebuild ahead of schedule by a few years. With a young group coming up to Chicago, especially on the offensive front, Soderblom will hopefully be the long-term answer between the pipes as the team gets back into contention.

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Uisgeachan
Uisgeachan
May 11, 2023 9:53 am

As with the Cubs and Bears, I’m competent that the rebuild of the Hawks will get us where we’re going sooner rather than later. Soderbloom and Commesso should be fine in net, and while we need more work on the blue line we’ve got a good start. Get Bedard some help in the goal-scoring department and we’ll be back soon.

vprichodko
May 10, 2023 12:40 pm

as the ideal scenario portrays a 2024-25 season where the net is shared by Soderblom and Commesso.

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