Joining John Tavares as Leafs going over to Slovakia to play in the IIHF World Championship, William Nylander will play for Team Sweden in the tournament.
Toronto's William Nylander will play for Sweden at the upcoming world championships.https://t.co/JaPfiZ4VRw
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 30, 2019
Nylander will team up with other countrymen as Elias Pettersson, Elias Lindholm, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Henrik Lundqvist — just to name a few.
Sweden have won gold at the past two tournaments. Unfortunately Nylander was not present in 2018 due to contract concerns, much like other Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson who had to decline an invitation because of the same reason.
In the 54 games he played with the Leafs this year, Nylander scored seven goals and 27 points. As Dubas mentioned in his season-ending press conference, he was not able to start his season on the right foot.
If Nylander is able to repeat his 2017 World Championship Most Valuable Player, that will do a lot for his confidence heading into an interesting offseason for this team. In that year — his first in the tournament — he scored seven goals and 14 points in just 10 games.
With a long-term contract in hand, he will just able to focus on his game for the coming months before training camp. Making all the critics eat their words would be some way to start an important year for the Maple Leafs.
With other teams announcing their roster, it appears that just Nylander and Tavares will be most likely the only two members of the Leafs playing in the tournament. Kasperi Kapanen will be out for contract concerns, and both Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews are out for their perspective countries. Morgan Rielly declined the invite as well.