Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: william nylander
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Expectations are bound to be a challenge when William Nylander makes the transition to the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Just how much of a challenge could depend largely on how the next couple weeks unfold at the World Junior Championship. When Nylander stepped onto Canadian soil with the rest of his Swedish teammates Tuesday, he found himself in possession of a unique opportunity.
He is both the Leafs top prospect and Sweden’s top centre for a high-profile tournament being played at Air Canada Centre.
That means the spotlight from two continents will be pointed in his direction.
It will be the first time most hockey fans in Toronto see him compete against kids his own age. Having the opportunity to compare him to his peers should underscore why the 18-year-old was selected with the eighth overall pick in June.
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.
from the Toronto Maple Leafs,
David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Monday the hockey club has signed 2014 first-round draft pick forward William Nylander to a three-year entry level contract. Nylander was selected by Toronto eighth overall at the NHL Entry Draft in June.
“Not only does William Nylander bring a high level of speed and skill to his game but he has a very strong character on and off the ice,” said Nonis. “We believe he has a very bright future and are happy to have him signed to his first NHL contract.”