Goaltender Emma Söderberg Signs Two-Year Contract with Whale

by Kaylee Herndon

IIHF Female Player of the Year Finalist backstopped her way to IIHF and NCAA Records in 2022-23.

SIMSBURY, Conn. — The Connecticut Whale announced today that star Swedish goaltender Emma Söderberg, an Olympian and University of Minnesota-Duluth graduate, has signed a two-year contract with the team for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 Premier Hockey Federation seasons. Further details of the contract will not be disclosed. 

The Jarved, Sweden native was named a finalist for the inaugural IIHF Female Player of the Year award for the 2022-23 season, the winner of which will be announced on June 1. After making her Olympic debut in Beijing 2022, Söderberg earned her nomination by making 51 saves on 54 shots in the quarterfinals of the 2023 IIHF Women's World Championship to push Canada to overtime for the first time in her country’s head-to-head history. The performance cemented her status as a Tournament All-Star as chosen by the media.

“Emma was a top prospect coming out of the NCAA, and we couldn't be more excited to have her join our organization,” Head Coach Colton Orr said. “Emma is a fun goalie to watch. She is quick, athletic, and a fierce competitor in the net. She has a ton of experience and has played at all levels, and her performance at Worlds was impressive to watch. We can't wait to see what she can do as a member of the Whale.”

The UMD Bulldogs graduate was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, setting a career record for shutouts (23) along with a new single-season mark (12) during the 2022-23 campaign. The 25-year-old posted a goals-against-average of 1.39 and save percentage of .938 in 33 games and was named an All-USCHO First Team All-American, All-WCHA First Team selection, WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year, and Top-3 finalist for National Goalie of the Year among her accolades. She ended her collegiate career with the fifth-most NCAA career wins in history, and her 12 shutouts in the season was the 11th most by a goaltender in the NCAA in a single season. In the 2021-22 season, she set the NCAA Tournament record for saves (146), and ended her career 3-0 in NCAA Tournament opening games with a 0.00 GAA. Across her total five career NCAA regional and quarterfinal contests, Söderberg allowed only four goals. 

“I am super excited to join the Whale this upcoming season!” Söderberg said. “I felt right away that this is an organization that is very professional, and that it will be the right place for me to keep growing my game. I hope to bring my competitiveness to all practices and games, so that I can help the team in the journey towards a championship!”

Söderberg is the first netminder signed by the Whale during the 2023 Free Agency period.


About the Connecticut Whale

The Connecticut Whale are a professional women's ice hockey team based at the International Skating Center of Connecticut in Simsbury, Connecticut and competing in the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) formerly known as the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). The Whale are one of the Founding Four teams that stepped on to the NWHL ice in 2015 and are owned and operated by Shared Hockey Enterprises (SHE). Visit whale.premierhockeyfederation.com to learn more.

About the Premier Hockey Federation
The PHF is the home of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and provide opportunities for elite athletes to earn a living playing the game they love while fueling the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, Montreal Force, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup. As part of a two-year agreement with ESPN, live coverage of the 2022-23 and 2023-24 PHF seasons is available exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States, and provides international rights for games which includes TSN in Canada. For more information visit premierhockeyfederation.com.