William Nylander has looked pretty damn good in two preseason games so far. His skating is top notch, his creativity is excellent and most importantly he’s produced on the scoresheet. Sure, we’re pretty early in the process of cutting down the roster, but it certainly looks like Nylander will stick around until the end and either make the team or be one of its last cuts. So, which way should it go?
Personally, there’s pretty much no way I’d keep Nylander around. His offensive skills are top notch and he very well could produce in the NHL right away, but I think there’s still much for him to learn with the Toronto Marlies. It’s less about the points, and more about developing his game as a centre on small ice. If he can crack a point-per-game pace and play well on both sides of the puck after 40 or so games in the AHL, then I’m willing to reassess the situation.
But until then, I’m not unnecessarily burning a year of his entry-level contract on a nothing season for the Leafs. Let him go back to the Marlies – hell, let him go back to the World Juniors too – and let him continue to develop his game. There are still things for Nylander to learn.
Would you keep Nylander around? What would it take for him to make the team? Let us know in the comments below… Most thumbs up gets a lock of William’s golden hair.