Detroit Red Wings: William Wallinder progressing at the perfect pace

Detroit Red Wings prospect William Wallinder is another one of Steve Yzerman’s highly-touted draft selections that may get lost in the shuffle from time to time, but he’s progressing at the perfect pace.

The Detroit Red Wings selected Wallinder with the 32nd overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Level Draft. The 20-year-old 6-foot-4 defender is coming off an impressive season with Rogle BK Angelholm of the, you guessed it, Swedish Hockey League (SHL). The SHL is some pipeline to Detroit.

With Rogle BK this past year, Wallinder recorded four goals and 19 points over 47 regular season games. Not bad for his first year of professional-level hockey. He’d also chip in with just one goal over 13 playoff games. Before last season, Wallinder had posted solid numbers in the Swedish Hockey League’s junior program. In 2019-20 with MoDo Jr. he’d net five goals and a total of 24 points over 37 games.

William Wallinder is a Detroit Red Wings prospect looking to make an impact sooner than later.

Since returning to the Detroit Red Wings organization, general manager Steve Yzerman has made a conscious effort to restock the prospect pool. He took over a franchise that had mostly bare cupboards. Hence why Yzerman has never put a timeframe on this rebuild and has admitted that he doesn’t know how long it will take, but he’s committed to doing it the right way. The right way is through the draft and adding in free agency or trade when it makes sense.

Wallinder is very aware of Detroit’s rich history of Swedish hockey players.

“I know about all the Swedish guys who have been here,” said Wallinder, who was Detroit’s 32nd overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. “It’s sick to be here as a Swedish guy.”

Wallinder mentioned that he’s very comfortable with his overall progress and development following his breakout season with Rogle last year.

It’s worth noting that Wallinder was teammates with Marco Kasper, Detroit’s first pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Level Draft. Wallinder mentioned that Kasper is tough to play against and loves to take the puck to the net. He said Kasper is really skilled as well.

This past summer, Wallinder mentioned that he will be playing one more year with Rogle (this upcoming season) and hopes to make the leap to North America to begin next season.

Suddenly, the Detroit Red Wings have many talented prospects across their blueline headed in the right direction. Wallinder joins a stout group headlined by Moritz Seider, who is no longer a prospect; the reigning rookie of the year has arrived.

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Wallinder, along with Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson, Donovan Sebrango, Jared McIsaac, and Eemil Viro, makes up a nice group of up-and-comers.