William Nylander Drafted 8th Overall by the Maple Leafs

William Nylander Drafted 8th Overall by the Maple Leafs

“Nylander might be the most skilled player in the draft.”

The Toronto Maple Leafs have selected Modo forward William  Nylander with their eighth overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

The Maple Leafs have leaned on the expertise of Swedish scout Thommie Bergman in the selection of this high-upside forward. It should dispel any notion of the Leafs shying away from skilled upside in favour of size and safe projectability. The 5’11.5, 183-pound William Nylander owns tantalizing offensive upside, earning the label as perhaps “the most skilled dynamic forward” in the draft class according to Brendan Ross. William Nylander cemented his place on the top 10 radar with a strong U18 World Championship performance, where he was named top forward and won a Gold Medal, although he was left off the World Junior Championship roster.

Pro-Agility Test Left: – Nylander 2nd
Pro-Agility Test Right: – Nylander 2nd
Wingate Test – Average Power Output (watts/kg): – Nylander 1st
Wingate Test – Peak Power Output (watts/kg): – Nylander 1st
Hand-Eye Coordination test: – Nylander 4th

“All the skills – Many say, William Nylander is the most skilled player in the draft. Dynamic, quick, agile, great hands, great passes, always changing the pace of play, can accelerate out of the blocks.”

The benefit to drafting a European instead of a player out of the CHL is that the Maple Leafs can bring Nylander over the pond and groom him on the Marlies if they so choose. It’s possible he stays in Modo for next season, but the option is there to bring him over next Fall as well. Nylander turned 18 on May 1st. Unlike North American prospects, Nylander can be brought along slowly while competing against men. The downside is that it’s a little more difficult to gauge where his production is at given he bounced around various levels of Swedish hockey last season.

Patience will be required with this pick, but there is electrifying potential here with Nylander’s speed and skill package. He’ll need to size up, learn to use his linemates better and develop his all-around game from the sounds of the scouting reports, but he’s got the tools you can’t teach and that much is exciting.

We know there’s been a needed injection of high-end forward talent into the Maple Leafs development system with this pick. As always, real judgments can’t be made until 5-10 years down the road.

William Nylander Scouting Report

Click to order the McKeen’s Draft Guide

“Committed to Modo next season in the SHL, William Nylander spent time with four different teams this year including a brief audition with Modo J20 team, multiple stints in the Allsvenskan and a call-up to the SHL.. a dominant force in international play leading the 2014 World U18 Championships in points (7-6-10-16) and finished tied for second in tournament points at the 2013 World U17 Challenge capturing a gold medal (6-2-8-10) .. talented solo act who can gain the zone and brings energy and intensity to each shift .. innovative, ideas occur naturally as a by-product of his vision and awareness .. always looking for the perfect play which can cripple his game appearing to hold onto the puck too long or trying to do too much .. creates separation via an explosive short cross-over stride and superb lateral agility .. Nylander’s omission from Team Sweden entry into the WJC humbled him as he bore down in the second half playing a more mature game .. can play harder in defensive situations but he does possess Patrick Kane like skill in his ability to control and dangle with the puck needing minimal space to unleash a quick and accurate wrist shot.”
McKeen’s Hockey Draft Guide

William Nylander Video

William Nylander Statistics

2008-2009Team MarylandAYHL2825265112|
2010-2011Chicago Mission U16MWEHL293427618|
2011-2012Stockholm 1TV-Pucken87101714|
SDE HF J18J18 Elit1812142614|
SšdertŠlje U16U16 SM33474|
SšdertŠlje J18J18 Allsvenskan975122|
SšdertŠlje J20SuperElit81342|Playoffs40552
Sweden U16 (all)International-Jr747114|
Sweden U17 (all)International-Jr30004|
2012-2013SšdertŠlje J18J18 Elit12132|
SšdertŠlje J20SuperElit2715284314|
SšdertŠljeAllsvenskan84262|Kvalserien SHL102134
Sweden U17WHC-17628102|
Sweden U17 (all)International-Jr32352|
Sweden U18WJC-1852132|
Sweden U18 (all)International-Jr104264|
2013-2014Sweden U18Hlinka Memorial44264|
MODO J18J18 Allsvenskan00000|Playoffs43474
MODO J20SuperElit30334|Playoffs53582
Sweden U18WJC-187610160|
Sweden U18 (all)International-Jr141213256|
William Nylander Statistics


Anyone notice Nylander has sweet hands for the penalty shot type plays? Damn that boy can DEKE!!!! This might be exactly what Kadri needed, young blood to compete against.


A) Overpay a decent free agent centre, or

B) Give up players we need to play with a top centre in order to acquire a top centre (who will then have no one to play with), or 

C) Finish in the bottom three for a few years and hope a young franchise centre comes along. 


Leafs and Buffalo talking? Franson+prospect for Stewart+31st overall pick?


We still don't have a centre and haven't had one since Sundin left.  That was six years ago!  The ongoing inability to address such an obvious need is a rather glaring example of managerial incompetence.  You would think that, one way or another, the current management team would be too embarrassed to ice a team this fall that features Bozak as our supposed 1C yet again.

Please get a deal done... if not this weekend, then soon.


@Dewy Keon Hogturd Someone on here said " it looked to me like Morrison was ticked" but other than that I didn't see it as I watched and I haven't seen it anywhere else. 


@Dewy Keon Hogturd That was the estimate a month ago. Earlier one was $71 mil. Canadian buck spooked them in the last while.


@Mattmark If Kulemin and Bolland are both walking then we need to go hard after Statsny.  Whatever it takes.  The cap space will be there.


@Wilbur @Mattmark well you might have done it by drafted Ritchie..so then you go to Stastny and say..hey we'll have a front 2 lines with Kessel/JVR//Lupul/Bozak and a nice looking tough kid with good hands that stands 6'2 225 lbs. Not bad really...Maybe not quite what Colorado had this yr. but Ritchie comes in strong...very close. I can then trade Kadri + xyz for ?? And I think we can guarantee Stastny we'd spend again next yr. for another piece. .... but we ...didn't


@Wilbur @Mattmark They're not paying us the big bucks to figure that out.  I'm sure it's a challenge but if the organization can't rise to it in half a decade, what can you say?


Leafland can't help themselves....they had to say 'many tyhink he's the most skilled of the entire draft'... that's why leafland is like Disneyland....

Alec Brownscombe
Alec Brownscombe moderator

@Mattmark @Alec Brownscombe @TuckerForPunishment Not sure players with no prior connection to Carlyle will view him as negatively as we do.

"Will they give me the contract I want? I'll have really good lineys I'm familiar with?" 

Does he like Toronto, etc.

Not saying he's coming here, just think it's not impossible.