21-Year-Old Center – Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs in August 2014.
Nylander scored the game-winning goal in Thursday's 1-0 overtime win over the Devils.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
William Nylander: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Nylander is one of the most highly skilled prospects to come out of Sweden in the last 15 years, maybe more. He's elite offensively and he's been the best player on just about every team he's played on. He was well on his way to setting new scoring standards for a teenager in the AHL last season, but a concussion at World Juniors derailed his game. He's a natural center, but is already penciled in as the Leafs' third-line right winger alongside newcomer Auston Matthews. There, Nylander will take the right-handed draws while getting a shot at running the second-unit power play from the right wall. He struggled his first time up with the Leafs last year, but not in his second time around the sun later in the season. Nylander drained 11 points in the Leafs' last 12 games while dragging around a couple bags of pucks for linemates. This season, Nylander is primed for a potential 45 points and maybe more. That would earn him talk in the Calder voting if Mr. Matthews wasn't already in the game.
Nylander is tagged to toil at center this season, and heíll do that in the AHL. We know, we know Ė thatís heartbreaking for all of the prospect-loving fantasy owners who are salivating over his skill, speed and smarts. But hereís the bottom line: Nylanderís skill would be wasted on the wing, where he initially skated upon arriving in the AHL. He played center for Modo of the Swedish Hockey League before coming to North America, putting up 20 points in 21 games there before ripping off another 32 in 37 AHL games. Nylander needs the puck, and he needs it in open ice. His vision is elite, and he can set guys up in his sleep. He and 2015 No. 4 overall pick Mitch Marner could be the Leafsí top two centers for a long, long time. But first, heíll need at least a full season in the AHL, maybe two, to learn how to play on North America's smaller ice. Dynasty leaguers should already have him rostered, but single-season owners should leave him on the wire.
Nylander is a human highlight reel. His creativity with the puck is unmatched in the 2014 draft class, and he can make the puck dance -- and opponents stumble -- with a deft sleight of hand. Add in elite skating and you have a near-perfect possession-style winger. He played last season for Modo alongside former NHLer and teammate Jeff Tambellini, who thinks Nylander could deliver 100 points in the NHL. Thatís heavy praise for a kid who already doesnít lack any confidence. Still, the son of former NHLer Michael Nylander has some serious work to do on his defensive game (think: find one and fast). But when he does, Nylander could become the next Henrik Zetterberg. Heís a few seasons away from making a dent, but heís worth stashing in dynasty leagues.