ST. LOUIS, MO. — The St. Louis Blues may have broken Bruins fans hearts recently with their Game 7 win in the Stanley Cup Finals, but for the next few days at least, there is plenty of reason for local hockey fans to be rooting for at least one potential future member of the Stanley Cup champions.
That’s because Tewksbury native and current UMass Lowell junior forward Connor Sodergren will be trying to catch the eye of the Blues brass as he competes in their annual Prospect Development Camp, which is being held at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis from Tuesday through Friday. Sodergren is one of seven UMass Lowell Hockey players who will participate at National Hockey League development camps this week.
Sodergren is coming off a career year for the River Hawks, as he skated in all 37 contests and recorded a career-high 21 points (5g,16a) with a team-best +13 plus/minus rating. The 2015 graduate of St. Paul’s (Concord, NH) High School, will be competing with and against many highly drafted Blues prospects, as well as several other undrafted invitees in the hopes of making a name for himself with the organization.
The odds are very long of course, but anyone who has followed Sodergren’s career knows he has already made a history of overcoming the odds, starting with a great career at St. Paul’s, where he tallied 47 goals and 114 total points in his career. He then moved on to play two years of junior hockey with the West Kelowna Warriors of the British Columbia Hockey League, where he totaled 89 career points, including a remarkable 2016-17 campaign where he had 24 goals and 35 assists for 59 points in 58 games, second most on the team. The year before in 2015-16, Sodergren and the Warriors won the BCHL championship.
For the past two seasons, Sodergren has been making a name for himself in Hockey East with UMass Lowell, including his breakout season last year where he helped lead the River Hawks to a 19-13-2 record, although the year ended in disappointment with a first round loss to Boston University in the Hockey East playoffs.
Sodergren and the rest of the prospects will compete in three-on-three and four-on-four scrimmages each day. Scrimmages begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 3 p.m. on Thursday and 6 p.m. on Friday. Sodergren will play for Team MacInnis, which will be coached by Blues legend Al MacInnis. Sodergren will be joined on Team MacInnis by Blues 2018 first round pick, forward Dominik Bokk and second round pick Scott Perunovich of two-time national champion Minnesota-Duluth. They will take on Team Tkachuk, which will be coached by another former Blues legend, Keith Tkachuk, and will be led by Blues 2017 first round pick Klim Kostin.