The Sweden-Latvia quarterfinal contest at the World Junior Championships was much closer than expected. But three Detroit Red Wings highly-regarded Swedish prospects came out of it with a chance to play for a medal at the World Junior Championships.
Sweden held off Latvia 2-1 to win their quarterfinal match-up and advance to the semifinals. Defensemen Simon Edvinsson (Drafted 6th overall in 2021) and William Wallinder (32nd overall in 2020), plus forward Theodor Niederbach (51st overall in 2020) are playing on that Swedish squad.
Edvinsson is projected to make the Red Wings’ roster this season, while Wallinder Niederbach will play in the Swedish Hockey League.
Earlier in the day, Red Wings defensive prospect Eemil Viro advanced to the semifinals when Finland downed Germany 5-2. He is staying in North America this fall to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Later in the day, Canada downed Switzerland 6-3 to put Detroit prospects Sebastian Cossa (20th overall in 2021) and Donovan Sebrango (63rd overall in 2020) into the semifinals. Sebrango has been rock solid on Canada’s defense. Goalie Cossa didn’t play against Switzerland. New York Rangers prospect Dylan Garand was Canada’s goalie.
Wallinder assisted on Sweden’s game-winning goal by defenseman Emil Andrae (Philadelphia Flyers, 54th overall in 2020) in the third period. At that point, it was a 1-1 game.
Niederbach won more than 76% of his faceoffs and Edvinsson played 18:43. The Swedish Team hasn’t played as well as had been anticipated. Swedish media laid out some heavy criticism on the team earlier in the tournament.
The Swedes had a five-minute power play in the third period against Latvia, and couldn’t score. But Andrae same though with a big goal later in the period.
The winner of the semifinals play for the gold medal and losers play for the bronze.