William Nylander
Image: Rogle BK

William Nylander

Hometown:

Calgary Alberta

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1996-05-01

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2014

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

1st round (8th overall), 2014

Weight:

190 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
History

2010-11: William Nylander returned to America from Sweden and played for the Chicago Mission U14 bantam team that reached the USA Hockey championship game. In 29 regular season games he scored 34 goals with 27 assists and had 8 penalty minutes. Nylander was the second-leading scorer for Chicago Mission at the Tier 1 National Championship behind Seamus Malone — scoring 5 goals with 4 assists in six games. Chicago Mission lost to Belle Tire of Detroit, 6-5, in the championship game.

2011-12: Nylander moved back to Sweden with his family after his father, Michael Nylander, a former Washington Capital, signed a contract to play in Switzerland. William Nylander played for the Sodertalje and SDE HF junior teams and skated for Stockholm 1 in the TV-Pucken national tournament for high school players. He appeared in 12 U20 games for Sodertalje (including four playoff games) and scored 1 goal with 8 assists; finishing -9 with 4 penalty minutes. In 26 U18 games split between SDE and Sodertalje he scored 19 goals with 19 assists and was +14 with 16 penalty minutes. In eight TV-Pucken games for bronze medal-winning Stockholm 1 he scored 7 goals with 10 assists and was +15 with 14 penalty minutes.

2012-13: Nylander made his pro hockey debut in Sweden as a 16-year-old — skating for Sodertalje in Sweden’s second league (Allsvenskan) — and was the leading scorer for the club’s U20 team. He represented Sweden in a pair of international tournaments – returning to North America to play in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge and concluding the season playing in the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. Nylander scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes in eight Allsvenskan regular season games and had a chance to skate on a line with his father at times. Sodertalje finished second but failed to earn a spot in the SHL after finishing sixth in the Kval Series playoffs. Nylander scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -4 with 4 penalty minutes in 10 Kval games. In 27 games with the Sodertalje U20 team he scored 15 goals with 28 assists and was +14 with 14 penalty minutes. He scored 2 goals with 8 assists in six games as Sweden captured the gold medal in the WHC. Sweden’s U18 team did not fare as well; finishing fifth in Sochi. Nylander scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes in five games at the U18 WJC.

2013-14: Nylander represented Sweden in the 2013 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August and finished the season with the U18 team at  the World Juniors in Finland. Signed to an SHL contract by MODO, he was loaned to Rogle and began the season in AllSvenskan — splitting the season between both leagues. In 22 regular season SHL games for MODO he scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was -3 with 6 penalty minutes. Nylander played in two playoff games and was +1 with no points nor penalties. Nylander played in 35 AllSvenskan games between Rogle and Sodertalje. He scored 15 goals with 12 assists and was +2 with 16 penalty minutes. In four games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament he scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes. Nylander was named the top forward at the World Juniors, leading the tournament in assists (10) and points (16) and finishing +8 in seven games. Sweden finished fourth, losing to Canada, 3-1 in the bronze medal game. Nylander was ranked second amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Toronto in the first round (eighth overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

2014-15: Nylander impressed in Maple Leafs’ prospect camp and signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Toronto in August 2014. Loaned to MODO in Sweden to start year, he skated in 21 SHL games before playing for Sweden in the 2015 World Juniors and then joining Toronto’s AHL affiliate following the tournament. In 37 games with the Marlies he scored 14 goals with 18 assists and was +8 with 4 penalty minutes. Toronto finished second in the North Division, falling to Grand Rapids in a first-round playoff series. Nylander had 3 assists and was +2 in five playoff games. He scored 8 goals with 12 assists and was +3 with 6 penalty minutes for MODO. Nylander led fourth-place Sweden with 3 goals and 7 assists and was -2 with no penalties in seven games at the WJC. Sweden lost to Slovakia, 4-2, in the bronze medal game. 

2015-16: Nylander made his NHL debut with the Maple Leafs in a February 29th game against Tampa Bay, skating in 22 games for the Leafs after beginning the year with the AHL’s Marlies and playing for Sweden at the 2016 World Juniors. He scored 6 goals with 7 assists and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes, averaging 16:20 minutes of ice time with the Maple Leafs. Nylander scored 18 goals with 27 assists and was +7 with 10 penalty minutes in 38 AHL regular season games. The Marlies finished first in the North Division, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals against Hershey. Nylander scored seven goals in the playoffs, sharing the team lead with defenseman Connor Carrick and right wing Connor Brown. He ended the playoffs with 4 assists and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes in 14 games. Nylander received an upper-body injury in an 8-3 win over Switzerland in his only game at the 2016 WJC. Sweden finished fourth, falling 8-3 to the USA in the bronze medal game. 

Talent Analysis

Nylander is a gifted forward. He is incredibly strong at pivoting with speed, both with and without the puck. He can turn on a dime, but tends to curl at full speed while making very fluid crossovers so as to generate speed through primarily the neutral zone. He is a strong puck handler who rarely loses the puck on his own accord and can dangle and deke out opponents with ease, using his body to protect the puck when opponents get physical. Nylander has a long reach despite relative lack of size. He makes accurate, sometimes dazzling passes and is very good at finding teammates and threading passes in tight areas. Scoring-wise, he has an excellent and accurate wrist shot, particularly from the point on the power play. He trusts and uses his shot with regularity, thus isn’t only a pass first player.

Nylander's overall hockey sense is special and he has a feeling and understanding for the game that few players enjoy. He can withstand physical pressure and is rarely separated from the puck or knocked around. He is very confident and can play a skill game. He is a go-to player and is very good at working give-and-go plays with teammates. As for weaknesses, Nylander's shots can be blocked at times and he is susceptible to opponent poke checks. He is relatively light though this doesn’t prevent him from being highly effective and dangerous. Nylander doesn’t always show vigor in back checking and his desire for puck possession can slow down other teammates.

Future

Nylander made his NHL debut in February — finishing with 13 points in 21 games with the Maple Leafs in 2015-16. He was one of the top scorers for the AHL's Toronto Marlies as a 19-year-old as the club reached the Eastern Conference finals. Nylander is expected to make a strong push for a roster spot with Toronto in training camp and could be in the discussion for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. His combination of skill and offensive instincts project that he can be a consistent scorer. His small stature is a concern but his productivity is not.

Father’s NHL experience helps Leafs’ Nylander get a jump on pro career

by Jason Menard
on
William Nylander - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect William Nylander was chosen 13th overall in the CHL Import Draft by the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 18-year-old first-rounder William Nylander may be young in NHL years, but he’s got a wealth of NHL experience behind him. And that confidence, along with a copious amount of talent, may propel him to the big-league roster as early as this season. Read more»

Nylander leads emerging group in Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 Fall Top 20

by Ed Dermit
on
Josh Leivo - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Forward Josh Leivo is one of several Toronto Maple Leafs prospects who are expected to take the next step in their development. Leivo was a third round pick in 2011. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)

 

 The Toronto Maple Leafs have featured a lot of high character, two-way forwards in their prospect pool over the years, but few with pure offensive instinct or elite skill. That is changing with the drafting of high-end talent William Nylander and the progress shown last season from the likes of Josh Leivo, Andreas Johnson, Carter Verhaeghe, and others.

Read more»

2014 NHL Draft: Sweden draft review

by Chapin Landvogt
on
2014 NHL Draft - Marcus Pettersson - Anaheim Ducks

Photo: Anaheim Ducks prospect Marcus Pettersson was the top Swedish defenseman chosen at the 2014 NHL Draft, going 38th overall to the Ducks (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

The 2014 NHL Draft has come and gone and as expected, a number of young talents who were both born and raised in Sweden, or are ranked as Swedish prospects because they’ve spent at least the last season in Sweden, have now become the property of an NHL team. All in all, it was a total of 31 players chosen, 28 of whom are Swedish-born. This ties the record number set at the 2011 NHL Draft. Read more»

2014 NHL Draft: Toronto Maple Leafs draft review

by Ed Dermit
on
William Nylander - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: William Nylander was one of five forwards the Toronto Maple Leafs selected in the 2014 NHL Draft. Toronto drafted Nylander eighth overall. (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs‘ director of amateur scouting, Dave Morrison, used the 2014 NHL Draft to select players with a strong competitive demeanor and good offensive upside.

Read more»

2014 NHL Draft: Belle Tire, Chicago Mission programs produce several NHL draftees

by Tony Piscotta
on

2014 NHL Draft - Alex Nedeljkovic - Carolina Hurricanes

Photo: Plymouth Whalers goaltender and former Belle Tire player Alex Nedeljkovic was chosen in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes (courtesy of Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

It's no secret that youth hockey in the United States has made great strides the past few decades.

Players from more geographical locations continue to appear on the rosters of major junior teams in Canada, as well as USHL and NAHL clubs in the U.S. The National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, MI and the squads at the northeastern private schools and NCAA college teams also have more American players than ever.

Read more»