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.

PHT Morning Skate: Laviolette loses it on referee Kevin Pollock

Peter Laviolette, Paul Gaustad

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette lost it on an official last month during a game against the Chicago Blackhawks. His problem? He claims referee Kevin Pollock was winking at the Blackhawks bench. (Puck Daddy)

Remember the name Denis Godla? He was the goaltender named tournament MVP and the best goaltender while playing for Slovakia at the recent world junior hockey championship. Godla made his professional debut in his native Slovakia this month and made a couple highlight-reel saves in his first game. (The Hockey News)

Editor’s Note: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Tuesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Tuesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Eric Staal wants to stick with Hurricanes. (ESPN)

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander is in Toronto now with the AHL’s Marlies and set to make his debut on Friday night. Chris Johnston writes there’s no need for the Leafs to rush the 2014 first-round pick. (Sportsnet)

Bo Didur is a 17-year-old junior hockey goalie with superstitions reminiscent of goaltenders such as Gump Worsley or Turk Broda. (The Vancouver Province)

Mississauga Steelheads owner receivd a note on his car that scared his children. (Steelheads)

Oilers’ Taylor Hall thinks this is the worst stretch of his career. (Jim Matheson)

Leafs’ prospect WIlliam Nylander developing his defensive game

IIHF hockey, Czech vs Sweden
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It’s been three months since the Toronto Maple Leafs and its’ fans saw William Nylander on North American ice at the club’s training camp and the 18-year-old feels his game has matured.

Nylander, selected 8th overall by the Leafs last June, has has eight goals and 19 points in 19 games with Modo of the SHL. He’s second on his team in scoring behind a 36-year-old.

“I think its gotten better. I’ve gotten stronger (and) quicker, I think, on the ice,” Nylander said of his game. “I’m a little bit more mature in the way I play.”

Nylander and his Swedish teammates went a perfect 4-0-0 in the preliminary round of the world junior hockey championship in Toronto.

The son of former NHLer, Michael Nylander, William is tied with teammate Oskar Lindblom, a Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect, for second place in tournament scoring having registered two goals and five assists heading into Friday’s quarterfinal matchup with Finland.

Nylander says a move to center has made him more defensively aware.

“Playing center you’ve got a bigger role in the defensive zone,” he said. “Part of that has helped me develop the defensive game better, which I think is good.”

The Leafs have no plans to rush the prospect to the NHL.

“We’re going to take a patient approach,” Dave Morrison, the Leafs’ director of amateur scouting, told The National Post. “If he’s ready, then he’s ready. And if he’s not, then he’s not. He’ll have to keep developing. This is a good experience for him to get used to Toronto and see what it’s like.”

Nylander’s play at the Under-20 tournament has Leafs fans excited to see what he can do once ready for the NHL game.