Last season was a big one for Detroit Red Wings prospects playing in Sweden. Simon Edvinsson, Albert Johansson and Elmer Soderblom are all currently participating in the Red Wings Rookie Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. All played starring roles for their Swedish clubs during the 2021-22 season.
The Swedish Hockey League regular season is getting underway on Saturday, and Swedish hockey pundits are projecting big things again from Red Wings prospects such as Marco Kasper and William Wallinder, and to a lesser extent, Liam Dower Nilsson and Theodor Niederbach.
After preseason + first round of CHL games, Rögle’s top scorers are:
1. Marco Kasper, 8 (4+4)
2. Adam Tambellini, 8 (3+5)
3. William Wallinder, 7 (0+7)
SHL regular season starts on September 17th. #LGRW
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Sanny Lindstrom of Sweden’s SportExpressen is a big fan of Kasper’s work. He’s seeing Kasper playing a major role with Rögle this season.
“Austrian super talent Marco Kasper is a player to keep an eye on,” Lindstrom writes about the player the Red Wings selected eighth overall in the 2022 NHL entry draft. “During the playoffs last year, Kasper was one of Rögle’s best players and a lot says that he will be able to take over there this year.
“From what I’ve seen from Kasper during the CHL, he has every opportunity to make a real impact this season. I don’t see it as an impossibility at all that Kasper can score between 30 and 40 points this season.”
Sportbladet’s Thomas Roos also likes Kasper and Frolunda’s Dower Nilsson, but with a caveat. “Kasper and Dower Nilsson are dependent on their surroundings,” Roos writes. “But if they take opportunity with the right players, the points will come.”
Red Wings Pick Wallinder Should Take Another Step
Lindstrom thinks that Rögle defenseman Wallinder, a 2020 Red Wings second-round pick, will follow the pattern that Detroit’s 2021-22 Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider did and blossom into a position of dominance along the blueline.
“William Wallinder made a big impression last year and made big strides during the season,” Lindstrom notes. “Since Rögle did not replace a player like Lucas Ekeståhl Jonsson, one certainly hopes that Wallinder can fill the role that he is leaving behind.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 12, 2022
“This probably means that Wallinder will get to play more frequently in offensive situations and power play. It is precisely in this way that Rögle has worked with great success for several years.”
Niederbach A Bit Of a Wild Card
The offseason move of Niederbach from Frolunda to Rögle was designed to provide him more of a chance to see ice time. Thus far, though in CHL ply, that hasn’t been the case. He’s still skating in the bottom six forwards for Rögle and was a scratch for one game.
“Theodor Niederbach was not satisfied with his role in Frölunda and therefore chose to go to Rögle,” Lindstrom points out. “It was of course a failure for Frölunda to lose such a talent.
“I suspect Detroit, who signed Niederbach, may have had a hand in selecting Rögle. The competition in Rögle is hardly less than it was in Frölunda last year and it will therefore be interesting to see if Niederbach can step up this season and get a more advanced role.”