William Nylander featured in the second game of the tournament for Sweden on Day 2, while Mitch Marner and Miro Aaltonen both played their second games on Day 3, at 2017 IIHF World Championships over the weekend.
Sweden 7 vs. Germany 2
William Nylander started the game centering a line with William Karlsson and Joel Eriksson Ek on his wings. As the game wore on, he also saw some time with Gabriel Landeskog. He was much more effective this game against Germany than he was in the first game against Russia, as Team Sweden broke through offensively against an inferior opponent after scoring just once in the tournament opener.
For his first point of the game, Nylander kept the puck in the zone, received a pass from Eriksson Ek in stride, made a move around a German defender, and found Jonas Brodin with a backhand pass for the goal.
Nylander’s first goal of the game, created by a nice defensive play from Anton Stralman, saw him rip a beautiful wrist shot over the shoulder of Thomas Greiss. His second goal was created by a puck battle won by Gabriel Landeskog, who found Nylander crashing the net. Willy made a couple of nice moves and finished on his backhand.
Nylander’s skill set was a standout feature in this game. He was simply on a different level than the German team and was much more effective when moved away from Carl Soderberg’s line.
Mike Babcock was in attendance in Cologne and couldn’t help but crack a smile while witnessing the performance of the young Leaf. Nylander played nearly 20 minutes total, which was second among Sweden’s forward group.
Babcock's reaction to Nylander's snipe yesterday was like that of a proud dad. pic.twitter.com/rXUUaeaoJi
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) May 7, 2017
Canada 7 vs. Slovenia 2
Day 3 in Paris began with a battle between Canada and Slovenia. Mitch Marner saw himself on the fourth line of a deep Team Canada, playing right wing on a line with two other skilled youngsters, Brayden Point and Travis Konecny. He received only 11:49 of ice time, but that didn’t prevent him from making an impact offensively.
His first point of the day came on the power play, where he threaded the needle between two Slovenians with a beautiful cross-ice pass for Nathan MacKinnon to finish from the top of the faceoff circle. Marner’s second point of the day came late in the second period courtesy of some trademark Marner puck poise; he received a pass from Konecny and patiently slid across the top of the crease, outwaiting the goaltender and finishing into a wide open net.
France 5 vs. Finland 1
Miro Aaltonen remained on the top line for Finland to start the game, playing his off wing on a line with Sebastian Aho and Valtteri Filppula. It was not a pretty game for the Finns; they outshot France 43-26 but only managed to find the back of the net once as the French goaltender stole the show. It was not the greatest game from Aaltonen, either. He managed to put three shots on net, but he ended the game as a minus-four. Aaltonen saw his ice time drop as the game went on — he finished with 12:45 TOI — while Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen, who scored 20 goals as a rookie in the NHL this season, saw his role increase. It certainly was not Aaltonen’s best game, but his offensive skillset has me intrigued for future showings.
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 7, 2017