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.

Samuel Pahlsson leaves NHL, signs deal in Sweden

Samuel Pahlsson

The Vancouver Canucks, nor the NHL, won’t have Samuel Pahlsson to kick around next season.

The longtime NHL veteran is headed home to play in Sweden after signing a contract with his former team in the Swedish Elite League (link in Swedish), MODO.

Pahlsson was a deadline acquisition for the Canucks in a deal with Columbus. Pahlsson had spent the previous two-and-a-half seasons with the Jackets before going to Vancouver. Before that, he was a Stanley Cup winner in 2007 with Anaheim and also spent time briefly with Chicago and Boston. Now after 11 seasons he’s returning to Sweden where he says he’s happy to be back home.

Pahlsson’s defensive play up front and ability to win faceoffs will be missed in the NHL, although not apparently too much by Canucks fans.

Former Islander and Thrasher Rob Schremp headed to Sweden to play for MODO

Rob Schremp

Rob Schremp will be forever known as the guy with the tremendous shootout skills. Just look him up on YouTube and you’ll see a host of different trick shots throughout his career. Unfortunately for him, the shootout in the NHL didn’t happen in every game (it only feels like that) and his skills at even strength weren’t exactly overpowering.

Because of all that, Schremp had a hard time finding an NHL deal this summer and is instead reportedly headed off to Sweden to play for MODO in the Swedish Elite League according to Risto Pakarinen.

Schremp played for the Islanders and Thrashers last season and compiled 13 goals and 13 assists in 63 games total. Offensive totals-wise it was his best season, although two years ago for the Islanders he had seven goals and 18 assists in just 44 games with New York. The Fulton, NY native always had the offensive skills to be creative but could never quite put it together at the NHL to be a productive everyday player and with offense-only players not being long for the modern NHL as it is, Schremp’s days numbered.

Ulf Samuelsson becomes the new head coach of Swedish Elite League team MODO

Detroit Red Wings v Phoenix Coyotes

The Swedish Elite League team MODO continues to stockpile recently (or semi-recently) retired NHL players. TSN reports that Ulf Samuelsson will leave his post as one of the Phoenix Coyotes’ assistant coaches to be the head coach for MODO.

Samuelsson joins assistant general manager Peter Forsberg and general manager Markus Naslund as noteworthy former-NHLers who will run the Swedish professional hockey team.

Samuelsson was an assistant coach with the Coyotes since 2006, including two successful seasons alongside head coach Dave Tippett. Many people give Samuelsson a lot of credit for the impressive development of defenseman Keith Yandle, a player quietly rising to elite status.

Many will also remember Samuelsson as a player whose controversial knee-to-knee hit helped cut short the career of Boston Bruins power forward Cam Neely. He delivered that hit as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Samuelsson also played for the Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers during his 17-year NHL career.

What’s Peter Forsberg up to? He’s the new assistant GM for MODO

Peter Foresberg

A lot of people get up in arms about great players hanging on well past their primes – and let’s face it, Johnny Unitas never should have been a San Diego Chargers QB – but ultimately it’s their call. After all, your time on the ice or field is harshly limited compared to other professions; why leave with the nagging feeling you had something left?

Peter Forsberg can safely say that he gave it his best shot in an inevitably failed two-game comeback with the Colorado Avalanche this season. Even in an era where the Teemu Selannes and Nicklas Lidstroms of the world remain high-end players past 40, it was obvious that Forsberg should hang ’em up for good at 37.

It’s not too surprising that Forsberg decided to stay involved with the game he loves, though. NHL.com reports that Foppa will join his Swedish Elite League team MODO’s front office, with his official title being assistant GM. You could put 2/3 of one of the best possible lines of the ’90s together with Forsberg and head GM Markus Naslund, by the way.

Here’s what Forsberg said about the first job of his post-playing days.

“When I thought about my future, it was obvious that I somehow want to help MODO,” Forsberg said, according wire reports. “This role seems perfect. It will be fun to work with Mark and the rest of the team building the future MODO.”

Before debuting with the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, Forsberg spent part of six seasons playing for MODO. He returned to the team during the NHL’s work stoppage in 2004-05 and played 26 games over two seasons with the club from 2008-2010. In 708 games with the Quebec/Colorado franchise, Philadelphia and Nashville Forsberg tallied 249 goals and 636 assists while compiling an impressive plus-238.

Forsberg will cover scouting and marketing-related duties as MODO’s assistant GM.