The Hockey News’s Kennedy: Wings have a Swedish streak again

The Red Wings made three Swedish selections in the 2020 NHL draft, and the Hockey News’s Ryan Kennedy noted that the Wings’ decision to go back to their drafting roots feels…right:

“At the top of the draft you like to think you have more certainty,” [Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman] said. “With each round, the difference between prospects gets smaller and smaller. We have skills or characteristics that we value. I always joke we’re looking for good players and they come in all different forms.”

From there, the Red Wings grabbed prospects from other countries – including a third second-rounder in Cross Hanas, promising Czech netminder Jan Bednar and solid Canadian blueliner Donovan Sebrango – but for a franchise that won championships with the help of names such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall, the influx of Swedes is a pretty fun narrative.

And while the new picks are young, they still remember their forebearer’s history.

“I know about them,” Wallinder said. “Kronwall, I loved his hits and everyone knows who Lidstrom is – he’s the best Swedish defenseman that ever played. It feels amazing, I’m proud to be part of this amazing organization and I know they’ve had really good Swedish players.”

Wallinder had first-round potential and really only missed the cut-off by one pick, going 32nd overall. But the kid has size, mobility, puckmoving ability and smarts.

Niederbach, another second-round pick, offers a wealth of intrigue, as he had previously missed all of 2018-19 with a knee injury. That was also supposed to be his first season with Frolunda’s junior team after moving over from KB65.

“Yeah, it was real tough to know you’re going to miss a whole season of hockey, especially when you have moved to a new club and a new town,” Niederbach said. “But after six or seven months, when I went on the ice again, you could say I saw the light out of the darkness.”


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.