Defenseman William Wallinder signs entry-level contract with Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings signed defenseman William Wallinder to a three-year, entry-level contract on Monday.

The contract takes effect from 2023-2024; in the interim, Wallinder will play the season in the Red Wings organization with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.

Wallinder was the first second-round selection and the 32nd player off the board when Detroit drafted him in 2020.

The Swede played for Rogle BK before retiring in the second round of the SHL playoffs in his second season of European top division hockey. Wallinder helped Rogle win the coveted Champions Hockey League as a rookie in 2021-22.

Wallinder’s 6’4, 190lb frame and on-ice discipline jump off the page of his player profile; in 97 games in the SHL, he has only accumulated 16 penalty minutes.

The left-handed pitcher has also scored at a respectable rate during his SHL career, tallying 11 goals and 45 points in that span, or 0.46 points per game.

Wallinder will use his time in the AHL to adjust to the size and speed of the North American game before challenging for a roster spot in the fall.

Simon Edvinsson, who previously played with Wallinder for Sweden at World Juniors and was drafted 6th overall by the Wings in 2021, will be among the defensemen vying for a spot on the team. Edvinsson is currently with the NHL club thanks to an injury to Ben Chiarot.

Chiarot, recently extended veterans Olli Maatta and Jake Walman, and former Calder winner Moritz Seider will be the mainstay of the Red Wings defense in 2023-24.

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman hopes one or both of Edvinsson and Wallinder can reinvigorate this group, which is currently in the NHL’s last 12 on the GAA team.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Tuesday when they try to get back to .500 at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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