ST. PAUL, Minn. | The Caps’ already strong pool of goaltending depth just got a little deeper as they selected Steffen Soberg of Norway on Saturday with the 117th pick in this weekend’s draft. The fourth-round pick was Washington’s first of this draft it traded away its first-rounder Friday night.
Soberg plays for Manglerlud Star Ishockey of GET-ligaen in Norway. This past season he had a 4.17 goals-against average and .884 save percentage. The 17-year-old (he turns 18 in August) played for Norway in the Under-18 and Under-20 junior tournaments.
Analyst Justin Goldman of the Goalie Guild tweeted this about the Caps’ goalie pick: “Soberg has a small frame at 5‘11 but quick footwork and good hands.” He called it an “off the board” selection but deemed Soberg a very good prospect.
Last year the Caps took goalie Philipp Grubauer in the fourth round. Before that, they used a fourth-rounder in 2008 to take Braden Holtby – now considered one of the top goaltending prospects in the league.
Soberg was not in attendance at Xcel Energy Center for the draft. He was not listed on NHL Central Scouting’s rankings of European goaltenders for this draft but was the top goalie on International Scouting Services’ May rankings.
(h/t to Ben Raby) … No Norwegian goalie has ever played in an NHL game.
Here’s The Hockey News on Soberg, a draft dark horse:
Soberg parlayed a batten-down-the-hatches performance at the world under-18s into big buzz, culminating in International Scouting Services anointing him the top European-based goaltender around in its May ranking. The 5-foot-11 netminder also nabbed rookie of the year honors back in Norway’s top league.