Three Red Wings prospects hope to lift Sweden at World Juniors

A trio of Detroit Red Wings prospects will impact Sweden’s fortunes at next week’s World Junior Championship in Edmonton.

The tournament will serve as a warm-up for Simon Edvinsson ahead of training camp, where the sixth overall pick in 2021 will compete for a spot on the Red Wings’ blue line.

Defender William Wallinder and striker Theodor Niederbach, selected in the second round in 2020 (32nd and 51st), will return to Sweden for another season of development with Rogle BK.

The event was postponed until December, when it was canceled four days after it started due to COVID-19. Sweden, seeking their first gold medal since 2012, opens on Wednesday against Switzerland.

“When I was little I always wanted to play in the World Junior Championship,” said 19-year-old Edvinsson. “I’ve just played two games. That hunger is going a bit more. I think it’s a good starting point to prepare for training camp.

The Red Wings will give Edvinsson, a large, mobile defenseman who shoots on the left (6-foot-6, 205 pounds), a great opportunity to make the team in camp and preseason after thriving at Frolunda in the League. Swedish hockey. It will be competitive, following the signings of Ben Chiarot, Olli Maatta, Mark Pysyk and Robert Hagg, who join Moritz Seider, Filip Hronek, Jake Walman, Jordan Oesterle and Gustav Lindstrom. Pysyk (Achilles surgery) is out for half the season and Walman (shoulder surgery) will not be available initially.

Wallinder, 20, was not selected by Sweden in December but a strong second half in his first season with Rogle apparently helped his cause.

“I started playing, my defensive game started working,” Wallinder said at Red Wings development camp last month. “This season I felt like everything was falling into place and all my defensive issues from the past and everything is fine now.”

Wallinder (6-4, 190) was a big fan of former Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who works with team prospects, especially defensemen, as assistant director of player development.

“I liked his hits,” Wallinder said. “It’s great to work with him. He has a lot of experience. Just to learn from him and listen to what he says. … Everything in my game, all the little details.

When asked if he hits like Kronwall, Wallinder replied, “I did when I was younger, but not anymore.

“I’m a great defenseman with great skating, I like to carry the puck and lead the offensive game from the blue line.

Niederbach is also aiming to take a step forward this season with Rogle following his move from Frolunda. It’s where Seider excelled in 2020-21 and where Marco Kasper, the Red Wings’ top pick in 2022, also plays.

“Frolunda are a good club, and I learned a lot from them, but I felt like I wanted to try something new,” Niederbach said. “I know Rogle is a good team. Wallinder and Seider experienced enormous development there. I know that I will come to a big club.

Niederbach (6-0, 190) was drafted as a right winger, but his goal is to become a strong all-around center.

“I try to play well in both zones, be confident in the D zone, but I can also do something good in the O zone,” Niederbach said.

Playing in the SHL helped his growth.

“You’re playing against grown men, so it’s tough every game,” Niederbach said. “The SHL is a good league. If you can play well there, you have a good chance of doing something good here (in the NHL). »

After: Donovan Sebrango assumes leadership role for Canada’s World Juniors team

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