Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A Look At 'Big Elmer'

11/11/2022 at 2:18pm EST

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Elmer Soderblom isn't just tall. He's historic by NHL standards.

At 6-foot-8, the Detroit Red Wings rookie stands an inch below the tallest man to play in the NHL, Zdeno Chara. He's tied for the title of tallest forward to play in the League, with Mitchell Fritz, Steve McKenna and John Scott.

His shoe size is 15. His skate size is 12-7/8, and his blade length stretches 322 millimeters. Each is the largest Detroit equipment manager Paul Boyer has seen in his 29 NHL seasons.

NHL rules limit sticks to 63 inches from the heel to the end of the shaft, but players 6-6 or taller can request an exception and go as long as 65 inches. Of course, Soderblom's stick is exceptionally long.

"I don't cut it," he said. "It's the longest I can get. It's under my chin. I like it."

The amazing part? He's no lumbering bruiser. Though the 21-year-old is a work in progress, adjusting to the speed of the NHL and learning to use his body, he has a smooth stride and good hands. That long stick is whippy, so he can release quick wrist shots. He flashes high-end skill.

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.