Tag: William 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.

Leafs won’t turn to prospect William Nylander for help

William Nylander

Despite scoring just seven goals in eight games (all losses) the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t recall 18-year-old prospect William Nylander for help offensively.

Nylander, who joined the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies in mid-January, scored his first AHL goal in Utica Friday night.

“It’s not time to call up William at all,” Leafs general manager Dave Nonis told the Toronto Star.

Nonis’ statement echoed that of his assistant Kyle Dubas.

Dubas addressed the plan for Nylander on Jan. 12 and was asked about the possibility of a recall at some point during the final months of the regular season.

“Right now, there’s not a chance,” said Dubas. “We need to be patient. We can’t live and die with if he has a good weekend.

“I know the media will continue to ask every good weekend that he has and the answer will be ‘no’. We need to be patient, develop him properly and have him come up when he’s able to sustain being an NHL player versus come up and then go back down.”

Nylander made his AHL debut on Jan. 23 and played in his third game Friday night.

The forward, who was Toronto’s first-round selection (eighth overall) in 2014, had eight goals and 20 points in 21 games with Modo in the SHL prior to joining the Marlies.

Related: Leafs’ prospect Nylander using Bruins’ Pastrnak as motivation

Leafs’ prospect Nylander using Bruins’ Pastrnak as motivation

William Nylander
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Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 first-round pick William Nylander made his North American professional debut Friday night with the American Hockey League’s Marlies.

Not since the 2006-07 season when goaltender Justin Pogge made his AHL debut had there been such hype surrounding a Leafs’ pick in a Marlies sweater.

Unfortunately for the 18-year-old he was held off the scoresheet as the Marlies were blanked 3-0 by the Hamilton Bulldogs, the affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.

Nylander joined the Marlies after scoring eight goals and 20 points in 21 games for Modo in the Swedish Hockey League this season. He also appeared in seven games for Sweden at the world junior hockey championship scoring three goals and seven assists – leading his team with 10 points.

At the same tournament, Nylander’s close friend, and Bruins’ prospect, David Pastrnak had a team-leading seven points in five games for the Czech Republic. Following the tournament, the Bruins’ recalled Pastrnak, who had four goals and an assist in seven games prior to the NHL All-Star break.

Watching Pastrnak’s trajectory in such a short span has Nylander motivated.

“The work he’s put in, he deserves to be there,” Nylander said. “I’m really happy for him. We’re really close buddies back home so I mean seeing him score makes me happy and inspires me to keep working and hopefully one day I’ll get the chance. Even if it’s not this year, maybe next year. That’s your goal.”

One of the things the Marlies will work on with Nylander is adjusting to the physicality of the North American game.

“I think that’s one of the aspects of his game that we want him to improve upon,” said Leafs assistant general manager, Kyle Dubas. “It’s going to have to happen over here. I think at the world juniors you see he does put himself in positions with the puck where he gets run at and hit a lot. It’s not going to take long to take some hits from men where he’s going to know not to do it again.”

Nylander and the Marlies play host to the Bulldogs in the second half of a home and home Saturday afternoon before the American Hockey League pauses for its’ All-Star break.