The Toronto Maple Leafs signed first-round draft pick William Nylander to an entry-level contract on Monday. There’s no word on the exact financial terms, but considering the limits of rookie deals, it’s likely to be an affordable deal.
The next situation to watch is what, exactly, happens next for the eighth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. There are basically three possibilities for his 2014-15 season: he can stay with MODO in Sweden, play with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies or make the team outright. All three seem like reasonable choices, so it might just come down to how he performs in training camp.
Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis hasn’t been shy about praising the 18-year-old’s abilities.
“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.”
The team lists Nylander at 5-foot-11 and 170 lbs., so there might be some thought to giving him a little more time to mature and add weight to his frame. Then again, that speed and skill may just prove be too compelling to resist.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day