William Nylander’s 2018-19 season was a complete nightmare. But this year? That was a different story.
Nylander didn’t endear himself to fans last season. After sitting out the first two months of the season due to a contract holdout, Nylander finally inked a deal at the last possible moment and returned to the team in December. When he did finally return, Nylander looked like he was a step behind his usual dynamic self. He ended up scoring seven goals and 27 points in 54 games, his least productive season since breaking into the league.
After a mediocre performance on the ice followed his contract holdout, Nylander had a big season ahead of him to remind the fanbase how good he actually was. He did exactly that this year.
Nylander buried a career-high 31 goals in 68 games in 2019-20, meaning a hot finish to the season could have seen him break the 40-goal plateau. He also had 59 points, so he surely would have shattered the career-high of 61 points he set in 2016-17 and in 2017-18.
Though the season was cut short and Nylander wasn’t able to complete his chase to the 40-goal plateau, he certainly redeemed himself in Toronto with his performance this year. Nylander really broke out as an elite scorer in 2019-20, showing more of a nose for the net than in previous seasons. Nobody ever doubted Nylander’s skill and ability to pick corners, but, this year, an older and more mature Nylander added a physical, net-crashing presence to his game that saw his goal total spike to a career-high.