Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Future Is Bright For The Leafs’ William Nylander

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

... Nylander is all about hope. For the better part of 20 years, maybe more, the Leafs have used or wasted their first-round picks. They haven’t found scoring stars in the first round since Wendel Clark and Vinny Damphousse were kids.

And here is this 18-year-old all full of flash and dash, a will of the wisp kind of player, with a clear knack for knowing where the puck is and where it’s going. The best players can’t always explain why. But the puck follows them and they follow the puck. The relationship is somewhat symbiotic.

Instincts can’t be purchased. You either have them or you don’t. You either have the right kind of burst or you don’t. You either have hands or you don’t. Watching Nylander try to play with Phil Kessel was like watching two dance partners just a step out of sync Tuesday night. They were trying to read each other and not necessarily clicking. But you could see there was an understanding of sorts — a veteran-to-kid kind of respect. Kessel is the kind of teammate who can look down on a linemate who can’t play at his intellectual level. Nylander and Kessel tried to make nice and occasionally they did, but it’s clear there may be a spot one day on left wing with Kessel and somebody playing centre.

That’s the future. Whether it’s the present will be a matter of much discussion over the final weeks of the pre-season. Nylander happens to play the position the Leafs are strongest at. They have wingers like Kessel, van Riemdyk, Lupul — a trio almost assured of producing 90 goals this season -— a rare luxury for a team just about everybody is already writing off.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: william+nylander

Comments

Be the first to comment.

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com