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.