Red Wings of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them as they advance through the Detroit organization. Today, we feature defenseman William Wallinder
How Acquired: Selected 32nd overall, 2020 NHL entry draft
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-P) 47-4-15-19 (with Rögle BK)
Contract Status: Unsigned
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: Rögle BK
After Simon Edvinsson, William Wallinder stands to be one of Detroit’s most anticipated arrivals. Standing 6’4, Wallinder could very well be a steal with the first pick (32nd) of the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft.
Spending 47 games with Rögle BK last season, Wallinder not only held his own on the same club where Moritz Seider made his name, he also flourished.
In a prospect pipeline stocked with talented defenseman, it surely bodes well for the future when Wallinder is named Sweden’s Junior Player of Year.
Director of Amateur Scouting Kris Draper admitted that Wallinder’s size was one of the many reasons Detroit looked his way. Following the second day of the draft in 2020, Draper said the Red Wings were very impressed with everything Wallinder brought to the table.
“He has the ability to get bigger and stronger,” Draper said. “He’s played against men. He’s getting tested night in and night out. When you start talking about the size and the range, and you look at some of the teams that were successful through the (2020) playoffs, they had a big D corps.”
“In the end, you’re not going to draft these players just because they’re big. You want to draft them because they have to be able to skate, be able to make a first good pass, and that’s what we felt we got in William.”
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) April 16, 2022
Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit
Still slated to play one season with Rogle, Wallinder all but seems a sure bet to be in North America for the 2023-24 season. Here again is another prospect who could take the quick road to the NHL.
The question centers around this: Will Wallinder take the next level leap to the NHL and suit up for the opening day roster to kick off the 2023-24 season?
As general manager Steve Yzerman would be quick to remind, there’s no rush and there’s also some luck involved. Regardless, winning an award that both Rasmus Dahlin and Victor Hedman notched is impressive.
Another strong season in the SHL makes a valid argument that Wallinder could be in Detroit as soon as 2023-24. If the front office opts to take their time, 2024-25 seems the likeliest time he’ll be with the big club.
Regardless, Wallinder is one of the strongest prospects Detroit has. It will be tough for Red Wings fans to surpress that hope knowing what the future pairings could be.
Wallinder might very well be a big part of that.