By Matt Mackinder / MetroJetsHockey.com
The 2022-23 season for the Metro Jets only ended last week with another trip to USPHL Nationals, but players are already making plans for the 2023-24 season.
Jets goaltender Freddy Soderberg has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for Fitchburg State University, a MASCAC school located in Fitchburg, Mass., about 46 miles northwest of Boston.
“The opportunity came around last season and I didn’t think much of it until we kept in talks all this year,” said Soderberg, a 2002 birth year from Harrison Township, Mich. “It will be extremely nice playing in such a competitive conference simply because every game will mean something to everyone.
“More than anything else, I want to continue to develop as a player, and also make some friendships that last for a while, too.”
In the classroom, Soderberg said he is planning to pursue a degree in Engineering.
Soderberg played the 2021-22 season for the MJDP team before making the move to the Jets this past season. Last season, he went 14-11-0 with a 2.45 GAA, .917 save percentage with six shutouts before winning three more games and collecting a shutout in the playoffs. In 2022-23, Soderberg fashioned a 12-4-1 mark with a 1.84 GAA, .931 save percentage and three shutouts. He then won twice in the postseason, one of them a shutout.
Jets goaltending coach Randy Wilson said it was a privilege to work with Soderberg on a daily basis and to see him rewarded with the opportunity to play NCAA hockey.
“We’re all very happy for Freddy in his commitment to NCAA Fitchburg State,” said Wilson. “The past two seasons that Fred played for our Metro Jets program, he has grown exponentially as a goaltender and also as a competitive hockey player. He has always exhibited dedication to his positional details complemented by his character as a teammate. He has worked very hard to develop his skill set as a competitive goaltender. The past two seasons with our Jets program, he has displayed confidence and maturity focused to excel.
“I have no doubt that his commitment to his craft as a goalie will prove valuable to Fitchburg State’s hockey program, both on and off the ice.”
“The Jets made me more mature as a player and a person,” Soderberg said. “More than anything, they focused on the mental aspect of the game and how I see it. There are so many memories that I’ll never forget and these bonds I’ve made with the people here make it some of the most fun hockey I’ve ever played. The community we had with the Jets will be missed very much, too.”
For Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville, he couldn’t be happier seeing Soderberg continue in the game at a high level.
“We would like to congratulate Freddy on his NCAA commitment,” said Quenneville. “Fitchburg is a great school and has a competitive program. He is deserving of this opportunity and has shown that he is an elite goalie. He is a driven goalie, cerebral, plays bigger than his size, and when he is on his game, he’s not letting anything in. This is just another story we see every year of a player that played high school, AAA and then came into our model playing for MJDP and then this past year with the Jets. He had several NCAA opportunities and ultimately chose Fitchburg.
“Freddy will be an asset on and of the ice for them and we wish him the best of luck.”
In making a milestone commitment, Soderberg said he couldn’t have done it alone.
“First and foremost, I want to thank my parents for putting me through hockey my whole life, even when things were a little tough for us, and my grandpa for all his support whenever I needed it,” said Soderberg said. “And all the coaches I’ve had through my career. Thank you to all of you.”
Stay tuned to MetroJetsHockey.com and all of the Jets’ social media pages for more offseason news!