Due to an injury-plagued defensive core, Arizona Coyotes prospect Victor Söderström looks like he is the next man up for the NHL franchise.
So far, Travis Dermott (upper body), Matt Dumba (lower body) and Juuso Välimäki (upper body) are all out of the Coyotes’ lineup.
Already, Michael Kesselring and Vladisalav Kolyachonok were promoted by the Coyotes a few weeks ago from their AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners because of the ongoing issue.
However, it was announced that Kolyachonok has suffered a lower-body injury and will be as out week-to-week now.
With that being said, is it possible that Söderström can make his first NHL appearance of the season in the not-too-distant future?
Originally being the 11th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Söderström’s tenure in the valley has seen him swap back and forth between the Coyotes and the Roadrunners.
After two loans switches with Brynäs IF (SHL) and AIK (HockeyAllsvenskan) in Sweden, Söderström got his first taste of NHL action as he suited up for 4 games in the 2020-21 season.
During his initial stint with Arizona, Söderström would register his first goal and assist before being eventually sent down to Tucson.
There, Söderström got 2 goals and 8 assists in 32 games while with Tucson to finish the campaign.
Söderström would go point-less in 16 games as a ‘Yote the next season before demoted again to the Roadrunners.
Last year, he would see more time with the Arizona after the trade deadline came and went.
Because of ex-Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakob Chychrun being dealt, there was both an opening and an opportunity for Söderström to grab.
In 30 contests, Söderström recorded 9 assists and had a plus/minus rating of -3 in 2022-23.
Overall, Söderström has played in 50 NHL games in his career with 1 goal, 10 assists, 35 hits, 62 blocks and a -6 rating.
While in Tucson to begin this season, Söderström has registered 2 goals, 6 assists and a -3 in through 17 contests.
During his short time with the Coyotes, Söderström has showed glimpses of why Arizona used a 2019 first-round pick on him.
His playing style is similar to former ‘Yotes captain and fellow Swede Oliver Ekman-Larsson, a silky skater who has an offensive eye from the backend.
However, there have been instances where Söderström’s defensive awareness has been called into question in the past.
Söderström isn’t afraid of pinching and joining the attack, but it sometimes comes at a cost when he can’t get back to defend an opponent’s odd-man rush the other way.
With Coyotes’ defense currently in an injury crisis, the first name that Arizona should consider promoting is Söderström’s.