TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – After spending the 2022-23 season with Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League, William Wallinder joined the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins on an amateur tryout for the remainder of the campaign.

Despite playing just one game with the Griffins, Wallinder believes the experience helped him better understand his strengths and weaknesses as the 20-year-old defenseman prospect prepares for his first full season in North America.

“That was a good test for me to see how it is to play on the small ice,” Wallinder said Friday at Centre Ice Arena. “It’s a lot quicker and you need to make decisions faster.”

Last season with Rogle BK, Wallinder compiled 26 points (7-19—26) in 50 regular-season games to go along with three points in nine postseason contests. His 26 points were tied for the most among any skater 22 years old or younger in Sweden’s top professional league.

“There’s a lot of good players there,” Wallinder said about the SHL. “It’s a great league. To play professional for a couple years in Sweden for sure has helped me get to where I am now.”

Wallinder, who signed a three-year entry level contract with Detroit on March 27, made his North American debut with the Griffins on April 2 at the Rockford IceHogs.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound blueliner said while training in Detroit this summer, he focused on adapting his game to the North American rink.

“It’s a big change,” Wallinder said. “The way we play back in Sweden is a lot different than here. More possession back home than here.”

Red Wings prospects coach Dan Watson said the 2023 NHL Prospect Tournament is a valuable opportunity for young players like Wallinder to continue to learn and grow.

“They’re going to play important minutes here in this tournament,” said Watson, who is also set to enter his first season as head coach of the Griffins. “Hopefully throughout camp, they can keep improving, getting better and set themselves up for success hopefully in Grand Rapids.”

The Red Wings will play their second prospect tournament game on Saturday afternoon, facing the Columbus Blue Jackets at Centre Ice Arena. Puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m., and will be carried on DetroitRedWings.com, Red Wings Facebook and YouTube.

William Wallinder | Media Availability | 09/15/23