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Coyotes defenseman Victor Soderstrom set to make NHL debut vs. Vegas

Victor Soderstrom poses for a portrait after being selected eleventh overall by the Arizona Coyotes during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes’ 2019 first-round draft pick is set to make his NHL debut.

Arizona (1-3) recalled defenseman Victor Soderstrom from the taxi squad ahead of Friday’s matchup with the (4-0) Vegas Golden Knights.

“Victor’s going to go in [Friday night], he’s had a couple of good practices, we want to see where he’s at,” head coach Rick Tocchet said via Zoom on Friday. “I think he had a really good World Junior and that spots open right now, so we’re looking for who’s going to grab it and I think we want to give him a chance.”

Additionally, the team assigned defenseman Jordan Gross to the taxi squad.

“Obviously, I’m super excited,” Soderstrom told reporters via Zoom. “It’s what you’ve been dreaming for your whole life and every since you started playing hockey so it’s been fun.”

In the 2021 World Junior Championship, Soderstrom recorded five assists. He also registered a goal with AIK (Hockey Allsvenskan) in 2020-21.

Last season with Byrnas IF of Sweden, Soderstrom recorded five goals and 11 assists for 16 total points. He also added 12 penalty minutes over the 35 game played. The 11th overall pick from 2019 registered a goal and five assists (six points) and six PIM in seven games with Sweden in the 2020 World Junior Championship as well.

“I told him last night, he’s excited. I love that, the excitement in his voice. … He knows he has to work on defending and has to make sure that in front of the net he takes sticks,” Tocchet said. “Those are the things he has to work on but … his vision is elite.

“I told him to play his game but also be conscience of his man. Make sure you take your man in certain situations and just enjoy the moment.”

The Coyotes look to snap a two-game losing streak when they face off against the undefeated Golden Knights.

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