William Nylander Sent Back to Modo


It was a strong pre-season and training camp for William Nylander but the odds were stacked against him as an 18 year-old trying to crack the NHL. The Leafs decided to go with veteran forwards and instead sent William Nylander back to a junior squad of his choice.

The good news for Nylander and Leaf fans is that this will likely be the last time the young Canadian misses opening night. He looked really good in training camp, arguably good enough to step into the NHL tomorrow, but he still needs time to develop and take his game to that next level.

He’s going to play in a man’s league. We felt that he’s going to a team that’s got a high-end coach where they need him. He’s going to get a lot of minutes ~ Dave Nonis

Nylander will head back to Sweden to get stronger playing against Men with MODO and he’ll make his return to Toronto later this year when he competes with Sweden at the World Juniors. The mission for him is to get stronger, grittier and find the scoring polish and compete he needs in the NHL.

He’ll play under the high coaching of Anders Forsberg and will battle with Sweden for gold at the World Juniors. He’ll be able to play against older men in the Swedish hockey league as he looks to improve on his 7 points in 22 games with MODO last season.

This is the best move for William Nylander’s development at this time. He’ll get to play big minutes in key situations, will be asked to be a leader while playing against older and stronger players. He’ll learn a lot and hopefully come back at the Leafs next training camp as a different player.

"“My goal is to be back here next year. Go back to Sweden, work harder every day and hopefully be back here next year.” ~ William Nylander"

While he has the skill sets to play in the NHL, he needs that maturity and polish he can only get from experience. Oddly enough the Leafs had the option of sending Nylander to the AHL to play with the Toronto Marlies making him a short car ride away if need be, but instead decided to ship him back overseas.

The 2014 first rounder quickly won over the hearts of Leafs fans. He showed skill on the ice and adapted to NHL preseason in a heartbeat. In 2 games he was the only player to have a Corsi for rating of over 50% for his 2 games. The only 2014 first rounders left in camp are Florida’s Aaron Ekblad, Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart and Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl who will all be getting at least 9 games in the NHL this season.

A good postseason was enough to earn the fans admiration, but the big bosses decided it was best for William Nylander to head back to MODO for another year in Sweden. When he’s in town around Christmas, the Leafs will keep a close eye on him and his status might change. For now though, William Nylander is heading back to Sweden.