The Detroit Red Wings currently have some of the best European prospects playing–mainly in the SHL. Some of these prospects have already signed entry-level contracts with Detroit. Others will sign this summer and possibly bring their talents to North America next year.
Prospect Focus: Elmer Soderblom (Frolunda, SHL)
Elmer Soderblom is starting to dominate while playing in the SHL. At 20, Soderblom is currently the highest scoring U21 player in the SHL. He leads all U21 players with 14 goals and 20 points in 34 games. Soderblom is also 4th in scoring on Frolunda but, leads in goals scored. The 6’8″ Soderblom will likely sign his entry-level contract with Detroit during the offseason and should play in the AHL for Grand Rapids next year.
Here is a look at the remaining Detroit prospects that are currently playing in Europe.
Albert Johansson is currently 2nd in U21 scoring in the SHL. He is also the top scoring U21 defensemen. In 34 games played this season, Johansson has three goals, 14 assists, and 17 points. Johansson signed a three-year entry-level contract with Detroit in June 2020. He is currently on loan to his club team, Farjestad, a team that is currently 6th in league standings. A short playoff run will likely bring Johansson to North America before the end of the season. Johansson will challenge for a roster spot with Detroit next year.
William Wallinder is currently 5th in U21 scoring in the SHL. He is also 2nd in U21 scoring for defensemen. In 27 games played this season, Wallinder has four goals, eight assists, and 12 points. Wallinder currently plays for Rogle, a team that is currently 4th in league standings. The 6’4″ Wallinder, will likely sign his entry-level contract with Detroit during the offseason and has a chance to play in the AHL for Grand Rapids next year.
Simon Edvinsson is currently 8th in U21 scoring in the SHL. He is also 4th in U21 scoring for defensemen. Edvinsson played two games for Sweden at the WJC, before they were canceled. Edvinsson was outstanding during his two games while scoring one goal and adding two assists. While playing in the SHL, Edvinsson has played 26 games and recorded one goal, 11 assists, 12 points, and a +2 rating. Edvinsson is currently injured and will likely miss the next few games while dealing with a slight injury during a game earlier last week. Edvinsson should sign his entry-level contract during the offseason and may bring his game to North America next season.
Liam Dower Nilsson is absolutely tearing up the J20 Nationell, Sweden’s top junior league. He recently enjoyed a five point game and has 28 points in 21 games on the season. The un-signed Nilsson, will likely require a full season in the SHL before signing a deal with the Red Wings. In seven games playing for Frolunda in the SHL, NIlsson has not recorded any points this season. He has been regularly limited to 5-7 minutes per game while being called up to the SHL so, a move to full-time status next year, would be best in his development.
Theodor Niederbach is currently 12th in U21 scoring in the SHL. Niederbach played two games for Sweden at the WJC, before they were canceled. Niederbach scored two goals and along with Edvinsson, was one of Sweden’s top players. While playing in the SHL, Niederbach has played 34 games and recorded three goals, four assists, eight points, and an even +/- rating. Niederbach should sign his entry-level contract during the offseason and will likely play one more season in the SHL before bring his talents to North America.
Otto Kivenmaki remains un-signed by Detroit and it will likely remain that way past his signing deadline in June. In 37 games in Liiga this year, Kivenmaki has recorded five goals, 11 assists, and 16 points, with a -2 rating. Last year, Kivenmaki played 29 games while scoring six goals, 12 assists, and 18 points with a +7 rating. It seems like Kivenmaki’s development has stalled and a move to North America is unlikely.
Albin Grewe is back from injury and starting to score while playing for Mora (HockeyAllsvenskan). In 16 games, Grewe now has two goals, four assists, and six points. Grewe remains unsigned and will likely remain unsigned heading into next season.
Joren van Pottelberghe has continued his winning ways with EHC Biel-Bienne in the NL. In 37 games this season, van Pottelberghe has a record of 21-10-2, with a 2.22 GAA, and a .923 SV%. Expect van Pottelberghe to sign an entry-level contract with Detroit during the offseason in the hope of being a backup goaltender with the Red Wings next year.