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If he doesn't make the Coyotes roster, where should Victor Soderstrom continue his development?

The Arizona Coyotes believe they have a truly special player in defenceman Victor Soderstrom, but where is the best destination to continue his development?

Soderstrom will have a real opportunity to secure a place on the Coyotes' roster in training camp and may find himself given an opportunity to impress in the nine-game window the team could use without burning a year of his entry-level contract.

The 18-year-old Swede could follow in the footsteps of Jakob Chychrun, who debuted for the Coyotes at that age back in the 2016/17 season - going on to make 68 regular season appearances that campaign.

For Soderstrom, however, the competition will be significantly higher, with the Coyotes already boasting one of the best defensive groups in the NHL.

So, if the promising young right-hander isn't able to crack the line-up right out of the gate, where will he continue his development over the next season?

Soderstrom is in a unique position, having the option of remaining with Brynas in the Swedish Hockey League or remaining within driving distance of the NHL club with their AHL affiliates, the Tucson Roadrunners.

Having been drafted out of the SHL, Soderstrom is able to play in the AHL where players coming out of major juniors are unable to until they turn 20 years old.

Soderstrom impressed during his rookie year in Sweden, registering four goals and seven total points in 44 SHL games, while adding a further goal and eight total points in 14 games for the Brynas J20 team in the SuperElit junior league.

While returning to his home and playing in familiar surroundings has its benefits for the Coyotes' 11th overall pick, remaining with the Roadrunners could be the better option.

Spending a year with the Roadrunners would allow Soderstrom enough time to adjust to North American ice and would let him adapt to the organisation's way of playing, helping to make him ready to step up into the line-up in 2020.

General manager John Chayka believes that Soderstrom was the third-best prospect in the 2019 Draft, likely behind Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, and it would make the most sense to keep this highly rated prospect close by.

Having Soderstrom in nearby Tucson would allow the Coyotes to keep a much closer eye on his progress and could even see him called up to the NHL if he excels in the minors.

Putting him in an environment that he will call home for the foreseeable future, with the organisation keeping close tabs on his progress, is the most logical decision for the Coyotes.

If he makes the NHL roster out of camp, it will be yet another positive move from Chayka and the question of his future development is swiftly removed.

But just in case he is the odd-man-out, Tucson is the most logical destination for the organisation's top young prospect.

Five for Howling is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Arizona Coyotes and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor(s) of Five for Howling

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