The Chicago Blackhawks May Have The Most Fair Contract in The NHL

Published May 18, 2023 at 4:15 PM

In what has been hailed as a savvy piece of business, the Chicago Blackhawks are holding onto their promising goaltending prospect, Arvid Soderblom, courtesy of a two-year contract extension inked a few weeks back. The terms of the deal, with its palatable $962.5k cap hit, positioned it as arguably the most value-driven contract within the Blackhawks' arsenal, reflecting their faith in Soderblom as the team's prospective bedrock between the posts.

The announcement, which came directly from the team, confirmed their bet on the talented Swedish import, who will be celebrating his 24th birthday this coming August. In the recent season, he found himself third in line in the Blackhawks' goaltending roster. However, injury woes plaguing the team's premier goaltender, Petr Mrazek, offered Soderblom an unexpected NHL cameo, featuring in 15 league matches.

Despite a less-than-stellar on-paper performance, as evident by a 2-10-2 record and a save percentage of .894, it's crucial to bear in mind the uphill battle Soderblom faced. He was tasked with defending the goal for a Blackhawks team that conceded a hefty 299 goals in the 2022-23 season, the fifth-worst record in the NHL.

Meanwhile, Soderblom's AHL performance showcased his potential more accurately. His consistent form guided the Rockford IceHogs to the Calder Cup playoffs, posting a respectable .905 save percentage over 33 games with a 15-12-5 record. His previous season was even more noteworthy, demonstrating an impressive AHL prowess with a .919 save percentage over 38 games. Prior to his Windy City stint, Soderblom had been an effective goaltending partner for Skelleftea AIK in his native Sweden, posting a commendable .921 save percentage across 22 starts.

Armed with this contract extension, Soderblom stands a strong chance of solidifying his position as the Blackhawks' third-string netminder, or potentially even ascending to a backup goalie role.

The prospect of having wunderkind Connor Bedard in the Blackhawks' lineup this fall could potentially expedite the team's trajectory towards contention. This scenario may shrink Soderblom's developmental window at his young age of 23, a slightly different timeline than in a traditional, extended Blackhawks rebuild phase.

Nonetheless, the renewed contract extends an invaluable runway for Soderblom to cultivate his skills over the next two years, fostering his aspiration to secure a permanent position guarding Chicago's crease in the NHL.
May 18   |   1 answers
The Chicago Blackhawks May Have The Most Fair Contract in The NHL

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