Now the Carl Soderberg era really begins or at least has a great chance to do so.

That was not exactly the case last year when the big Swede came to Boston after a ballyhooed and protracted battle with the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation. By the time he won his freedom the Bruins were gearing up for the postseason and Soderberg only got into six regular-season games though he did get thrust into two Stanley Cup finals games against Chicago due to Patrice Bergeron’s injury.

While it wasn’t an ideal NHL baptism the left-shooting forward said last year’s experience was far from worthless.

“Of course it’s really nice to be here at the beginning of the training camp but those weeks I had here last year meant so much to me” said Soderberg who’ll turn 28 on Oct. 12. “I got to know the guys the staff and the game in the NHL too. I had good practice a good workout summer and I came back here in good shape.”

One thing Soderberg learned in his short time in the NHL is that he can’t carry around too much excess baggage so he dropped seven or eight pounds.

“He’s looking good” said B’s coach Claude Julien. “He’s lost weight but he’s also gained some muscle. He was already a strong player to start with. I think he’s looking good. When we see him in those battle drills he’s been pretty strong on the puck. We like that about him. He’s got a good skill level he can shoot the puck and he can make plays. He’ll get a great opportunity in those preseason games to showcase himself and show the improvement.”

The 6-foot-3 198-pound Soderberg may never be a speed demon but every little bit helps.

“I tried to stay in good shape. Hopefully I’m faster this year” he said. “A lot of the guys here are real light and I wanted to be in the same shape as they are so that’s why I wanted to do that.”

Soderberg is smack dab in the middle of the most interesting competition for one of the two open spots on the third line. With Chris Kelly set on it somewhere that leaves Soderberg battling Matt Fraser Reilly Smith Jordan Caron Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner. All six are left-handed shots and Julien said he’d be OK with a line of three lefties.