Alarm bells sounded in Red Wings Nation when 2020 second round draft pick William Wallinder didn’t make Sweden’s National Junior Team. But his play this season for Rogle BK Angelholm in the Swedish League has eliminated any thought that he isn’t progressing as a prospect.
Rogle is a strong team, currently second in the Swedish League, and yet 19-year-old William Wallinder has made himself relevant with four goals and 14 points in 36 games. He leads all junior-age players in points.
Red Wings Player Development Director Niklas Kronwall was in attendance last Tuesday when Wallinder posted two nifty assists in a 5-3 win against Timra. When Rogle played in the Champions League semifinal several weeks ago, Wallinder played heavy minutes. It’s been clear that the coaching staff trusts Wallinder more with each passing game.
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Wallinder told the news outlet Expressen that Kronwall, a former Red Wings defenseman, has been at his games five or six times.
“He usually is here and checks sometimes, he checks details in the game and then we meet afterwards,” Wallinder said. “It’s nice to have him by my side, he helps me a lot. It feels powerful.”
If you are watching Wallinder play lately, it’s difficult to believe he didn’t make Sweden’s National Junior Team. He is most certainly still in the Red Wings’ plans.
There’s no timetable for Wallinder. Although he can skate and has skill, there’s still some rawness in his game. The Red Wings could leave him another season in Sweden or sign him and give him a season in Grand Rapids to become more accustomed to the North American game. That’s a decision that will be made after his Rogle season is complete. His team should go far in the playoffs.