A young goaltender who suffered a life-threatening injury last season got back on the ice this week as he takes another step in his recovery. Also, another top prospect will begin his 2020-21 season in Europe and stay overseas to profile one of the top defensive prospects in this year’s draft class.
Tynan Back on the Ice
Back on Dec. 12, 2019, fans outside of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) became aware of Niagara IceDogs goaltender Tucker Tynan for all the wrong reasons. During a game against the London Knights, Tynan suffered a severe cut to his thigh from a passing skate blade.
The injury was so severe that it was considered life-threatening at the time and if it wasn’t for the quick action of the on-site medical staff, things could have ended in absolute tragedy. After Tynan was stretchered off the ice and rushed to an area hospital, he underwent emergency surgery and was able to make a full recovery.
The IceDogs shared this great clip on Thursday, showing Tynan returning to the ice, in full gear, back in his hometown of Chicago.
According to the IceDogs official website, Tynan said it felt “real good” to be back in between the pipes. The 18-year-old netminder played in 23 games during his rookie OHL season. He posted a .910 save percentage (SV%) and 3.80 goals-against average (GAA).
Andersson Staying in Sweden
According to a report out of Sweden, Anaheim Ducks defensive prospect will be loaned to Södertälje SK in Allsvenskan, which is the Swedish equivalent of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The 20-year-old, right-handed defenseman was originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round (57th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Ducks, on Feb. 21, 2020, along with David Backes and a first-round draft pick for forward Ondrej Kase.
Andersson spent the 2019-20 season with the Moncton Wildcats in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He scored three goals and 24 points, in 43 games, while posting a plus-19 rating. He also played in eight international games for Sweden, picking up three assists.
Prospect of the Day – William Wallinder
We will stay in Allsvenskan for our Prospect of the Day feature. Wallinder is another intriguing defensive prospect out of Sweden. Heading into the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, NHL Central Scouting has him ranked as the 14th best European skater. He is the third European defenseman on their list behind Helge Grans and Topi Niemela. THW’s Larry Fisher ranks him the 31st best player on the draft board and ninth among all defensemen.
Related – THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
The recently turned 18, left-handed blueliner played a total of 56 games, in three different levels, for MODO last season. The first thing that literally stands out about Wallinder is his size. At 6-foot-4, he towers over many of the players on the ice. However, he moves well for a big kid by accelerating with ease and being able to play at a fast pace.
He started the 2019-20 season with the U18 Modo team, but after picking up five assists in their opening game, he was promoted to the U20 team. At that level, he scored five goals and 24 points in 37 games. He finished out the year with two assists in 18 games at the Allsvenskan level.
Wallinder has quick hands to go with his agile feet. He has a heavy shot from the point, with a very good release. He is a reliable quarterback on the power play thanks to his smart decision making and his accurate shot. When he doesn’t have the puck, he uses his size well to clear traffic from out in front of his goaltender. He is not afraid to mix it up physically, but his eagerness to join offensive rush has gotten him in trouble at times.
Our own Matt Cosman believes that whichever team is willing to wait on his development, will have an NHL player on their hands.
Often times, drafting a big defenseman can go wrong if the player can’t make improvements in his areas of weakness. Thankfully for Wallinder, his shortcomings are manageable, and his strengths are rare to find. I project him to be a future middle-pairing defenseman in the NHL, but if he can become more defensively sound, he could work his way into a top-pair role one day. There should be little doubt Wallinder will become a future regular NHL defenseman, but he’ll likely be a long-term project.
Wallinder has the complete package that NHL scouts drool over. He’s got size, speed, offensive ability, an impressive reach and can play with some snarl when need be. He still has a long way to go before he will challenge for an NHL roster spot, but that should come at some point.