Monday, July 23, 2007

As predicted, Toivonen sent packing

As I wrote a few weeks back in the post titled "The Bruins Future in Net: And How Manny Fernandez will fit in with Boston," Hannu Toivonen was dealt today to the St. Louis Blues for Carl Soderberg.

Never heard of him, have you?

Don't feel bad. Neither have I. And most Bs fans are probably in the same boat.

Soderberg won't be the Bruins next Joe Thornton, but he will bring some of that size and skill up the middle.

Most Bs fans would also agree that a goalie needed to be dealt, and that goalie may as well be Toivonen, considering the two starters and the young talent (Rask), all of whom are better than the recently departed.

On the same note, Bruins fans don't want to lose Toivonen just because of an overload at that position. Too many times, the talent coming in has to be questioned. The talent leaving, proven.

Soderberg certainly isn't proven, but neither is Toivenen. If anything, Toivonen has proven that he is unable yet to adequately and consistently be a starter in net. There have been flashes, nothing more.

Soderberg is a 21-year-old kid from Malmo, Sweden. Playing in the Swedish Elite League last year, the 6'3 200 pounder posted 12-18-30 totals in 31 games.

At, Soderberg is rated a 7.5 out of 10. Such a rating is give to forwards who are projected to be somewhere between a potential first or second line guy in the NHL. The site also says the following about Soderberg:

"In the 2003-04 season, after totally dominating the junior league and almost averaging 2 points per game, Söderberg was called up to the SEL and immediately showed off his strong skills. He became a regular and scored a goal and an assist in 24 games... Söderberg is a very explosive player...good skater...has a powerful stride. With his quick feet he very easily gets around the opponents. He has an accurate shot, has a fine scoring touch and is a good playmaker as well. His hockey sense is top-notch and the way he handles the puck in full flight is very impressive. A strong player with great size combined with good technical skills. Earlier his defense was somewhat questionable but he has become a much better player without the puck. While his increase in playing time has not materialized this season, next season Söderberg should be given ample opportunity to showcase his strong skills. He is still a long distance away from the NHL, but given time, he will show why he is considered one of the bright spots in St. Louis's future."

Soderberg is of course no longer with St. Louis - however - he was ranked fifth on the team's prospect list on, behind the super-talents of Erik Johnson, Marek Schwarz, T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund.

At 6'3, 200 pounds at age 21, Soderberg will undoubtably fill out even more and could eventually become the Bruins most physical prescence up front.

On paper, I like the trade. We didn't lost much in the trade (a goalie who might never have started in Boston again) and received a 49th overall, 2nd round pick with size and offensive talent. It may be three or four years before we can really evaluate this trade.

In other news, the Bs also re-signed Ryan Sullivan's man out of Omaha Nebraska, Jeff Hoggan. I was a big fan of Hoggan for most of last year but the ex-Blue couldn't sustain a roster spot and eventually was released. Apparently, somebody else in the Bs front office also likes the speed and tenacity that Hoggan offers on a nightly basis. He's a seven, eight minute per night kinda guy, and not one who scores much, but he'll bring some life to this team.

This could be the end of the Bruins pre-season moves. Don't expect anything too significant before the trade deadline.


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