DETROIT — It took longer than expected but defenseman William Wallinder finally arrived in Detroit last week for the Red Wings' development camp.
Wallinder was a 2020 second-round draft pick, so timing was not on his side.
The Wings didn't hold a development camp for prospects and recent draft picks the last two years because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns. So, Wallinder remained in Sweden and met with Wings scouts and development coaches who either are based in Sweden or came through on scouting trips.
"It took a while, but finally I'm here," Wallinder said while meeting the Detroit media last week.
Of course, Wallinder is hoping Detroit becomes a second home.
Wallinder plans on staying in Sweden one more season, playing for a Rogle team that will also have Wings draft picks Marco Kasper and Theodor Niederbach before coming over to play in North America in the fall of 2023.
Wallinder, 19, was honest with where he believes he's at hockey-wise. There's still room for improvement and catching up to do on the defensive end of the rink.
"I don't feel like I'm there yet," Wallinder said of being ready for North American pro hockey. "I'm going to spend another year in Sweden with Rogle and hopefully I'll be ready after that season.
"It's hard to tell (how playing in North America will be) but hopefully it translates pretty easy, so it's like playing as usual."
At 6-foot-4 and 191 pounds, Wallinder is maturing physically and already has shown aspects of his game that could translate some day to the NHL.