Tag: Michael Nylander

Michael Nylander plays the puck

Michael Nylander joins OHL club as assistant coach


After 24 years of playing professional hockey, Michael Nylander is turning to coaching.

The 42-year-old has joined the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads as an assistant coach, the club announced via Twitter on Sunday.

The move will bring Nylander, who spent the 2014-15 season playing professionally in Sweden, closer to his son William Nylander – the 2014 first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nylander’s other son, Alexander, was the first-round pick of the Steelheads at the 2015 CHL import draft.

Originally a third-round selection of the Hartford Whalers (59th overall) in 1991, Nylander spent 15 seasons in the NHL with the Whalers, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

In 920 career NHL games, Nylander scored 209 goals and 679 points.

Get to know a draft pick — William Nylander


Leading up to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.

William Nylander

Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 181  Shoots: Right

Team: MODO

Country: Sweden

NHL Central Scouting Ranking: No. 2 European skater

What kind of player is he?

If there’s a word to describe Nylander it’s “skilled.”

He jumped around a bit last season and ultimately landed in Sweden’s top league for 22 games with MODO scoring one goal with six assists. Considering he was 17 years old and playing against men, those numbers aren’t bad. For a better part of the year he was in Sweden’s second league and had 19 goals and 33 points in 43 games still against players much older than him.

Nylander grabbed the attention of scouts with his play at the World Under-18 Junior Championships where he had six goals and 16 points in seven games.

Long story short, he’s prepared to be a pro. To help everyone feel old, he’s the son of former NHLer Michael Nylander. If he can have or exceed the kind of career his old man did (679 points in 920 games) he’ll have a long career in the NHL. Considering his dad was a third-round pick by the Hartford Whalers in 1991, the bar is set a bit higher for William.


TSN’s Craig Button, a former GM of the Calgary Flames and scouting expert, said Nylander has tremendous ability as Oilers Nation shared.

“Nylander boasts high-end skills highlighted by excellent puck control. His confidence with the puck is outstanding and he has as much patience with it as any player in the draft.”

Chief Scout of NACScouting, Mark Seidel, has this to say about Nylander:

“Expectations coming into the season were unrealistic. He tried to do too much early and showed frustration. He makes offensive plays his teammates don’t even expect and distributes the puck very well. He loves to challenge with speed. He was the best offensive player at the recent Under 18’s. Size is still a concern, but will create offense wherever he plays.”

For more 2014 NHL Draft previews, click here.

Michael Nylander dealing with minor injury; Chance of Flyers job in jeopardy

Michael Nylander

When the Flyers invited Michael Nylander to training camp to compete for a job with the team and potentially play alongside Jaromir Jagr once again, it was seen as a shock since Nylander hadn’t played in the NHL since the 2008-2009 season with the Capitals. A mix of a bad contract and a terrifying neck injury kept him out of action with the Capitals while his contract ran out, but the shot at coming back to the NHL beckoned him back from Europe.

That shot at the NHL, however, is taking a hit in preseason as he’s yet to suit up in a game for the Flyers to show if he’s still got the skills needed to play in the league. Without playing there’s no shot for Nylander to sign a deal with the Flyers in the first place. So what gives for the former point scorer? CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio finds out that Nylander’s health is keeping him idle.

General manager Paul Holmgren said late Friday that Nylander has a minor injury that is unrelated to the neck surgery he underwent last season.

Nylander, who did not make the trip to Motown, could be available to play Monday night against the Rangers, Holmgren said.

It would make for an ironic twist for Nylander to make his debut against the Rangers as it was in New York that he saw his best season in the NHL playing alongside Jagr. Nylander had 83 points that season while Jagr piled up 96 of his own. Nylander will be 39 years-old soon so his window for playing again in the NHL is closing and fast. If he can play soon and show he belongs, the chemistry he and Jagr had in New York could, potentially, happen again.

That said, Nylander has his work cut out for himself in winning a starting spot in Philadelphia. The jobs are few and far between to compete for in Philly so if Nylander is going to make the cut, he’s going to have to be even more impressive with his play to win a spot. Time is running out, however, for Nylander to show what he’s got.

Is Michael Nylander’s training camp tryout a sign that the Flyers are worried about Jaromir Jagr?

Czech Republic v USA - 2011 IIHF World Championship

While his $3.3 million salary is a bit bloated, the Philadelphia Flyers might get more from Jaromir Jagr than many critics expect. If nothing else, he’ll be inspired in a big chunk of Atlantic Division contests. Beyond sticking it to the Pittsburgh Penguins, many overlook the fact that Jagr will also have added motivation to get on-ice “revenge” against the New York Rangers, a team he spent parts of four seasons with. The deal would have been worthy of more ridicule if the term wasn’t right, but since it’s just a one-year deal, their risks are isolated to that hefty price alone.

Of course, the $3.3 million question is whether or not the future Hall of Famer will be an effective NHL player after spending the last three seasons in the KHL. His final season with the Rangers was a relative disappointment; after scoring 123 points in 2005-06 and 96 in 06-07, Jagr fell short of earning the right to extend his contract in New York by scoring “just” 71 points.

Jagr put up those impressive 05-06 and 06-07 numbers skating alongside fellow aging forward Michael Nylander and both forwards seemed to decline once they parted ways. Nylander’s post-Jagr path has been downright disastrous; he began that 2007 off-season by messily spurning the Edmonton Oilers to sign an ill-fated deal with the Washington Capitals. His price was a big issue, but his style wasn’t very cohesive with the Capitals’ style either, prompting the team to bury him in the minors. Things got even worse for Nylander last season, as a season-ending injury kicked him while he was down and put his career in serious jeopardy.

After navigating some serious bumps in the road over the last few years, the two forwards will be reunited – at least briefly – in Flyers’ training camp. While Jagr received that handsome one-year deal, Nylander’s situation is more fluid: he must fight for a roster spot via a training camp tryout. That invitation makes Puck Update’s Steve Ovadia wonder if the Flyers are having some concerns about how Jagr might fit into their team.

In the frenzy of the NHL off-season, the Flyers might have thought signing Jagr seemed like a great idea. They got to stick it to the Penguins, who were also interested in Jagr. And they got people talking about something other than the Flyers trading away Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

But when the excitement of signing Jagr cleared, I’m wondering if the Flyers suddenly found themselves with doubts about just how Jagr will fit into their team. Coach Peter Laviolette loves sending forwards to the net, while Jagr lives along the side boards. Will Laviolette have to run two different offenses depending upon who’s on the ice?

I suspect the Nylander invitation is a bit of an insurance policy on Jagr. If Nylander can still play well enough, I think the Flyers like the idea of having a security blanket for Jagr. Jagr and Nylander could do their own east-west thing while the rest of the team can execute Laviolette’s north-south game plan.

Nylander centering Jagr’s line would be more than a bit comical considering the fact that Jagr cited the perks of skating alongside Claude Giroux and Danny Briere when explaining why he signed with the Flyers.

The next season will be an interesting test of Peter Laviolette’s strategic skills since the Flyers roster shifted from an overloaded offensive power to a team that is structured like many other NHL teams (a decent spread of talent on offense and defense with a high-priced goalie). Jagr’s greatest impact will probably come on the power play this season either way, so it might actually make some sense to pair him with Nylander in even strength situations and then throw him on one of the top PP units.

Ultimately, that’s for Laviolette (along with both Nylander and Jagr’s efforts in practices and training camp) to decide. Whether they resemble a Broadway play or a traveling circus, the Flyers should remain one of the NHL’s most dramatic and colorful teams next season – so stay tuned.

(H/T to Puck Daddy.)

Broken neck puts Michael Nylander’s season (and career) in jeopardy

It’s been a rough handful of seasons for former NHL forward Michael Nylander.

After producing at more than a point per game pace alongside Jaromir Jagr with the New York Rangers, the crafty forward signed a deal with the Washington Capitals that proved to be a bad fit for GM George McPhee’s salary cap. Nylander became one of the first player’s to receive the “Wade Redden” treatment as he was banished to the minors because his salary didn’t conform more than his style of play. He hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2008-09 season, but on the bright side, at least he was getting paid.

He spent time bouncing around the AHL and foreign leagues in 2009-10 before being loaned to the Rochester Amerks – the Florida Panthers AHL affiliate – this season.

A sad situation got even worse, though, as the center broke his neck in a game against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

“He’ll definitely have to do some soul-searching when he has recovered,” Amerks coach Chuck Weber said. “The little bit I do know him, I don’t think this is the way he’ll want to go out.”

Facing season-ending neck surgery at 38, you have to wonder if this is it for the hard luck pivot. Not many players fight back from injuries this severe at such an advanced age, especially without the immediate carrot of possible NHL play dangling in front of them.

If this is it for Nylander, he’d go out in a sad way but nonetheless made a nice career for himself. He scored 209 goals and 470 assists for 679 points in 920 games stretched over 15 journeyman seasons in the NHL. He might not go out “on top” but would have nothing to be ashamed of after a lengthy, productive career.

(H/T to Puck Daddy.)