William Nylander
William Nylander
22-Year-Old CenterC
Toronto Maple Leafs
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Two full seasons, both with 61 points. Nylander has a quiver full of irresistible skills. He can wheel with the best. His passes are tape-to-tape. His thinking is elite. And he can snipe. Plus, Nylander's two-way game is the best among Toronto's young bucks. There's really nowhere but further up for the young Swede. But while both Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner have taken leaps in their games, Nylander has been more good than great. There has been no leap. He's best with Auston Matthews and that's where he'll skate. Fantasy-wise, Nylander's game isn't quite like David Pastrnak's -- at least not yet. But it's close to a healthy Jaden Schwartz and there's plenty of value in that, especially if he can take a 10-point leap in 2018-19. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $41.4 million contract extension with the Maple Leafs in December of 2018.
Fourth-line assignment Sunday
CToronto Maple Leafs
January 20, 2019
Nylander was alongside Frederik Gauthier and Par Lindholm on the fourth line at Sunday's morning skate, reports the Toronto Star.
"He's getting in his own way," said coach Mike Babcock. "We're just going to take the heat off him... Ideally (the fourth line move) will allow him to take some heat off himself." Nylander has just one goal and two assists in 19 games since signing his six-year, $41.77 million deal. The move will no doubt be temporary. Let's hope it takes enough pressure off for Nylander to get his head back into the game. The Leafs play the Coyotes on Sunday night.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Nylander exceeded all expectations last season. His 61 points tied him with teammate Mitch Marner for third in NHL rookie scoring, and he then took the hockey world by storm at the 2017 IIHF World Championships, carrying his Swedish team to a gold medal and in turn, winning MVP honors. For 2017-18, he's destined for the right side of the MMN line with Auston Matthews and newcomer Patrick Marleau, and that's a trio that could easily lead the NHL in scoring. Nylander already has freaky chemistry with Matthews, and the speedy Marleau is perhaps the one veteran that can both keep up with the young duo and also compete offensively. Nylander's star is rising, so wait on him for long — especially in keeper formats.
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 he’ll do that in the AHL. We know, we know – that’s heartbreaking for all of the prospect-loving fantasy owners who are salivating over his skill, speed and smarts. But here’s the bottom line: Nylander’s 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 Leafs’ top two centers for a long, long time. But first, he’ll 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. That’s heavy praise for a kid who already doesn’t 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. He’s a few seasons away from making a dent, but he’s worth stashing in dynasty leagues.
More Fantasy News
Drops to fourth line
CToronto Maple Leafs
January 18, 2019
Nylander received an in-game demotion to the fourth line during Friday's 3-1 loss to the Panthers, Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star reports.
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Practices with Auston Matthews
CToronto Maple Leafs
January 16, 2019
Nylander practiced on a line with Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman on Wednesday, reports the Toronto Star.
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Struggling to find game
CToronto Maple Leafs
December 25, 2018
Nylander is currently mired in a six-game point slump.
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Posts first points
CToronto Maple Leafs
December 11, 2018
Nylander had two assists in a 4-1 victory against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.
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Uninjured in car accident
CToronto Maple Leafs
December 8, 2018
Nylander and Maple Leafs teammate Kasperi Kapanen avoided any injuries in a minor car accident Friday, Kristen Shilton of TSN.ca reports.
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