Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander on Monday recorded the first three-point game of his young NHL career, as his team bested the Calgary Flames by a final score of 5-2.
With reports Swedish national team coach Par Marts was in attendance to scout the skilled 19-year-old forward, Nylander added a pair of assists and scored the winning goal 29 seconds into the third period. He has five points in his last two games — against Calgary and Buffalo.
Marts and assistant coach Peter Popovic flew to North America over the weekend to take in Monday’s game between the Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames to scout Nylander ahead of the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Even though they also saw four Swedes play in Sunday’s Columbus Blue Jackets-New Jersey Devils game, Marts made it clear during an interview with Sportsnet that the 19-year-old’s recent NHL promotion prompted the last-minute trip.
However, based on the comments of head coach Mike Babcock, it appears the Maple Leafs believe it would be best for Nylander to go back to the AHL Marlies instead of playing for Sweden at the world championships when the NHL regular season ends.
The Marlies have already clinched a Calder Cup playoff spot. In fact, they’re the only AHL team to do that so far, with a record of 46-15-5.