Sweden had already lost several important players from their World Junior team over the weekend and now has ruled out another member of the preliminary roster. William Wallinder will not take part in the tournament, with Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News reporting that it is because his club team had a COVID-19 outbreak.
Wallinder, 18, joins William Eklund and Karl Henriksson on the sidelines for the tournament thanks to health situations, leaving Sweden without three important players. The young defenseman was selected 32nd overall at the recent NHL draft, picked by the Detroit Red Wings with the first choice of the second round. Wallinder brings a unique mix of size and skating ability, standing 6’4″ but gliding around the ice effortlessly.
With just a few weeks left before the tournament is set to begin, it is a race against time for these prospects. If they can stay healthy enough and removed from COVID-19 until they enter the bubble in Edmonton, the event should move forward. But with outbreaks still occurring all over the world, Wallinder likely won’t be the last player ruled out.