Detroit Red Wings: William Wallinder could be future top-four defender

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings might see William Wallinder end up in their organization’s top two pairings by the time he gets to the NHL level.

On day two of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings selected defenseman William Wallinder with the 32nd selection. It was a shock to some that Wallinder slipped out of the first round and the Red Wings were able to scoop him up before the draft continued.

While he is just an 18-year-old and will not be in the NHL right away, but he could make some major strides in his game. Wallinder could wind up being an anchor of the Red Wings’ top two pairings when he finally arrives in North America.

He is a 6-foot-4, 192-pound defenseman with a left-handed shot, which brings a well-developed skill set to the table. He could develop it further as well as add some more offensive skills and be a threat in the offensive zone as well.

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The Swedish talent is playing for the MODO organization in the HockeyAllsvenskan league, also playing for their affiliate at the U-20 level in Sweden.

Through 15 games in the HockeyAllsvenskan league, Wallinder has just three assists for MODO.

However, at the U-20 level, Wallinder has two goals and four assists for six points over four games played. Wallinder is excelling at the U-20 level, but he has yet to get the offense to translate to the HockeyAllsvenskan league.

Wallinder seems to have an eye for offense, and his skating ability allows him to make things happen. If he can become comfortable with being the quarterback in the offensive zone, he could be a deadly offensive weapon for the organization in the future.

His ability to make things happen in the offensive zone is shown in glimpses, like in this highlight here where his hockey-IQ is shown:

Wallinder uses his smarts to slip through a gap, get to the open space when entering the zone, and get a nice pass from a teammate. While he may not finish and get the goal, he makes shifty moves to get a good scoring chance.

If he can bring this type of hockey-IQ and also be able to be the defender who makes things happen at the top of the offensive zone, he can truly develop into something special. Watch out for Wallinder as the years’ progress, and he starts to grow into the NHL defenseman he projects to be.

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The Detroit Red Wings could be building a dangerous blueline if William Wallinder were to possibly wind up alongside Moritz Seider on a top defense pairing in the future.