• Alexander Taxman

Prospect Report: William Wallinder

Updated: Apr 17

William Wallinder is one of the most intriguing players to watch for the 2020 NHL Draft so far. The Sollefteå, Sweden native currently stands 6'4, and weighs in at 192 pounds. Wallinder is one of the younger players in the draft class, giving him the chance to get even bigger before the draft. He is a left-shot defenseman with the tools to control the game, slowing it down and speeding it up at will. Wallinder's best aspect is his skating, he's certainly not a jumbo burner like Philip Broberg or Blake Wheeler, but his technique is perfect. Most players 6'3 and above utilize long, powerful strides to gain speed, Wallinder does the opposite. His strides are quick, but smooth. He can turn on a dime and is fantastic on his edges. See here how he uses his skating to make an effective zone exit on the penalty kill:

At full strength or on the powerplay, Wallinder is a free zone entry. Once he reaches top speed, it's very hard to take the puck away from him. Watch how he slices through almost an entire team with ease:

In the offensive zone, Wallinder is always looking to get involved. He has a very powerful wrist shot, and will step up into the high slot to utilize it often:

His accuracy is top notch, because his club team wants him to shoot for his teammate's sticks often. See here how effective he is at this:

All of this being said, there are some drawbacks to Wallinder's game. He doesn't use his body as much as you would expect, and he sometimes gets rocked by smaller players. His skating can be lackadaisical at times and his defensive positioning is questionable. When he gets caught drifting or flat-footed, other teams capitalize. Watch as he makes a crucial error, leaving his man wide open and leading to a goal against:

This would have worked if Wallinder committed 100% to the puck carrier, but he waits. And when he makes his move, it's not with much effort. Here's an example of Wallinder getting beat one on one:

Wallinder has plenty of time to work on his weaknesses, and no NHL team would back away from a project like him. All in all, William Wallinder is one of the top defensemen in the 2020 draft, and one of the most unique. His blend of size, speed, and skill should have him selected within the first 2 rounds. He will play for MODO in the SuperElit this upcoming season, and will likely be an anchor on Sweden's junior team.