William Wallinder’s performance this season with Rögle is catapulting him into the stratosphere with the iconic legends of Swedish hockey. Wallinder is the 2021-22 SHL junior (under-20) player of the year. The announcement that he was this season’s winner was made on Wednesday.
Selected 32nd overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2020 NHL entry draft, Wallinder is the second Red Wings prospect to win a major honor while skating for Rogle in as many years. Last season, defenseman Moritz Seider was gaining recognition as the SHL’s top defenseman. Playing this season in Detroit, Seider is the betting favorite to win the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) April 16, 2022
In winning the SHL junior player of the year, Wallinder put himself alongside some of the greatest Swedish players of all-time. Past winners of the award include Victor Hedman, Peter Forsberg, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Mats Sundin, Nicklas Backstrom, Henrik Lundqvist, Jacob Markstrom, Rasmus Dahlin, Viktor Arvidsson, Joel Eriksson Ek, Mats Naslund, Thomas Gradin and Anders Hedberg.
Wallinder An SHL Rookie
Previous winners who were Red Wings draft picks and played in Detroit include Niklas Kronwall (2000-01) and Anders Eriksson (1994-95). Currently a member of the Red Wings defevelopment staff, Kronwall is serving as mentor to Wallinder.
Regular-season play saw Wallinder finishing with 4-15-19 totals in 42 games. He was playing his first season in the SHL, Sweden’s top division.
Rögle wins Game 7 vs. Oskarshamn and move on to the semi-finals where they will face Färjestad.
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) April 12, 2022
I am an offensive two-way defender who likes to be involved, to follow the attacks and create situations,” Wallinder explained to SHL.se. “I’m a good skater. I am very mobile.”
Previously, Wallinder was skating with MoDo in Hockey Allsvenskan, the Swedish second division. At the start of the season he was discussing the move to Rögle.
“Detroit told me a little about how it was here,” Wallinder told SHL.se. “They had Seider here last year. They had good contact with Rögle already then and they gave me some tips on how it was.”