Goaltending prospect Steffen Soberg did not attend Washington’s rookie camp this week as had been originally planned because he was still deciding whether he would play in North America this season, according to the team.
Soberg, whom the Capitals selected in the fourth round of this year’s NHL entry draft, was selected by Swift Current in the CHL import draft. Capitals goaltending coach Dave Prior has long said he believes North America is the best place for a young netminder to develop.
On Wednesday, though, Soberg was quoted in a Norwegian newspaper as saying he isn’t ready to move far from home yet. Soberg just turned 18 on Aug. 6.
Q: It seems as if the coach of the Broncos think you come back?
He hopes that maybe so, but deep down I think he knows that I do not come back. I’m just not ready to move so far away now, says Søberg to Dagbladet.
Q: You are not afraid that you burn all the bridges to the NHL right now?
This will not damage anything. They say they do not look at me as something less prospect of playing somewhere else than in North America, the only time that I play there. At some point it may be that I try that again, but right now I just do not want. When I think that someone who has either to get my seat.
“I hope he still might decide to come,” Prior said. “I haven’t changed my position and believe it’s the best place for a goaltender, that doesn’t mean you can’t develop outside of the CHL but that’s his choice. He owes us nothing yet because we don’t have him signed. …I want to be able recommend us to sign him at some point but that has to be if he keeps progressing as a goaltender.”
Prior stressed that he’s not worried about the situation at this point, but that he was surprised by Soberg’s indecision.
“He did not express this uncertainty in July,” Prior said of when Soberg attended development camp. “It followed in the weeks after being in our camp and he was struggling with the decision for reasons he has not really disclosed.”