Rookie forward William Nylander will be entering into his first NHL season this year. The Toronto Maple Leafs successfully signed Nylander to a three year entry level contract on Monday.
Nylander has spent this past hockey season playing in the Swedish leagues. He had a 22 game spell with MODO and accumulated seven points. He’s also played for Rogle and Sodertalje and tallied 19 points for each team.
His most recent success was at the Under 18 World Championships in Finland where William Nylander was selected as the best forward of the tournament. Nylander finished first overall, with an impressive total of 16 points. This resume impressed the Leaf’s management enough to complete the signing. The 18 year old Nylander was drafted eighth overall by Toronto.
Out of all the rookies that have been given entry level contracts so far, I believe this kid will be one of the best. He’s got explosive speed, a wicked shot and isn’t selfish with the puck. William Nylander has loads of potential and will be determined to have a breakout year in his first season in the NHL. The question will be - will this forward be able to adapt to the pressure and the intensity of the NHL. The Swedish leagues have a much larger ice surface and a different style of play.
Therefore, it may take awhile for Nylander to adjust. But if he can tally 19 points consistently at age 18, he will easily become a 30 goal scorer for the boys in Blue. I really hope the Leafs don’t make the mistake of sending him down to the minors several times during the season like they did with Nazem Kadri. I believe Nylander has the skills and raw talent to be able to stay within the roster for a full season.
If nothing else Nylander will provide some much needed energy to Toronto’s fourth line. He’ll likely spend most of the season rotating the fourth and third lines if he manages to perform and stay in the roster. Nylander may get to play alongside Colton Orr and Peter Holland.
I can’t wait to see how long it will take for William Nylander to score his first ever NHL goal. This kid will be a joy to watch this season and will provide the Toronto Maple Leafs with a little more depth and speed.
This is a wonderful opportunity for him to showcase his skills and start building a successful NHL career with one of the most popular teams in the league.