At least he finished off his year on a high note.
After Finland upset Canada 3-1 in the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, William Nylander was named to the tournament’s all-star team.
Nylander, who won the tournament MVP two years ago leading Sweden to a gold medal, put on an even better show, putting up five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in just eight games, on route to a 5-4 overtime quarterfinal loss to the eventual champions in Finland.
Nylander did lose out on the two main awards, as Mark Stone was awarded tournament MVP and Nikita Kucherov won the best forward award. Nylander was one of three forwards named to the team, alone with Stone and Jakub Voracek.
This performance was a much needed confidence boost for Nylander, as he’s coming off a season that started with a lengthy holdout, and finished with just seven goals and 27 points in 54 games (although 24 of those came in his final 35 games, good for a 56 point pace over 82 games).
Going into the second year of his six year contract, this season was more likely an outlier due to the late start, and we’ll probably expect him to get back into his usual form come next season with a full training camp, and this performance at the World Championships definitely showcases that he might be back in form.
Or maybe the narratives are right, and he’s only doing this because he cares about his country.