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Red Wings Sign Wallinder; Will Report to Grand Rapids Immediately

Wallinder just finished SHL season with Rogle

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Red Wings draftee William Wallinder has signed an entry-level deal and is reporting to AHL Grand Rapids.

One day after his Swedish club was eliminated from the SHL playoffs, Detroit Red Wings prospect William Wallinder is on his way to North America. The defenseman has signed an entry-level contract with the Wings. Wallinder will report immediately to Detroit’s top farm club, the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL.

Wallinder will be playing the remainder of the AHL season on an amateur tryout agreement so that his entry-level deal with Detroit doesn’t kick in until the start of the 2023-24 season.

The 32nd overall selection of the 2020 NHL entry draft, Wallinder, 20, just completed his second full season of SHL competition with Rogle, where he was teammates with 2022 Detroit first-round draft pick Marco Kasper. He would up tied for fourth on the team in scoring with 7-19-26 totals from 50 games. Wallinder was logging more than 20 minutes of ice time most game nights on the Rogle blueline.

Wallinder believes that the move to Rogle has taken his game a step further to where he’s now ready to make the transition to North American hockey.

“It went just the way I wanted it to,” Wallinder said. “I got my game going, my defensive game started to work out. I’m in the right direction.”

The scouting report on Wallinder is that he’s a pure skater and a deft puckhandler.

“I’m a big defenseman with great skating,” Wallinder said. “I like to carry the puck and lead the offensive play from the blue line.”

Griffins Short On Rearguards

The loss of Albert Johansson to injury, coupled with the recall to Detroit of Simon Edvinsson is leaving the Griffins a bit shy when it comes to blueline depth. The team reacently added Charlie Curti from the ECHL Toledo Walleye.

Wallinder is the second European defender signed by the Red Wings over the past week. Finnish defenseman Antti Tuomisto, Detroit’s 35th overall selection in the 2019 NHL entry draft, was also recently signed to an entry-level deal.

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Wallinder is well-versed in the history of Swedish players playing for the Red Wings.

“I know about all the Swedish guys that have been here,” he said. “That’s kind of sick to be here as a Swedish guy. I know a lot about (Niklas) Kronwall, (Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Henrik) Zetterberg, those guys, so it’s kind of sick to be here.”

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