We begin today's look at Carl, arguably the NHL's best Soderberg, with a comparison of his two full NHL seasons. He came over late, you'll recall, as a Euro import, and performed admirably for the Bruins.
He scored 48 points his first season, which you could argue rode a 12.8% shooting percentage that we don't have evidence he can sustain. But then he followed it up with 44 points last season as the shot fell to 8%. That was Soderberg getting an expanded role, with more ice time, which he utilized to get more shots. And if you still want to argue luck his overall PDO was basically unmoved, from 101.7 to 101.9. (We should expect Boston players to have slightly elevated PDO due to the influence of Tuukka Rask being an absolute monster.)
His HERO chart and dCorsi show me what we've already said about Soderberg ever since he was acquired and signed. With second line usage, he doesn't generate shots and isn't an amazing goal scorer, but he is a fine setup man for his linemates and good at shot suppression.
In each of his two seasons with the Bruins, Carl Soderberg's linemates were most commonly everyone's most underrated pick (meaning he is actually just rated) Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly. Eriksson is a very strong player, while Kelly has one of those bizarre groups of stats that show he's pretty bad at everything but magically amazing at shot suppression.
What does it mean for 2015?
A lot of observers have pointed to Soderberg's linemates, specifically Eriksson, as being responsible for some of his Boston success, but I would point those observers at his probable linemates here in Colorado, Gabe Landeskog and Insert RW Here, most likely MacKinnon, as he fills the O'Reilly Gap. If his numbers were inflated before, putting him with the best possession players on our roster isn't going to make them suddenly drop. Nor will giving him the opportunity to set up the Cole Harbour Wunderkind and Thor Of Many Shots. Eriksson is good but this is doubly an upgrade for him.
So incomprehensibly long sentences and silly nicknames out of the way: If you expect Ryan O'Reilly you will be disappointed. We know O'Reilly is the better player, if not driver. However if you expect Carl Soderberg to remain Carl Soderberg, then I would bet the House (full-body cringe) on you being very happy with his play this year.