Maple Leafs recall William Nylander from Sweden

William Nylander
William Nylander was recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday from MODO of the SHL (Photo: EliteProspects.com)

It was announced Monday that the Toronto Maple Leafs  have recalled 2014 first-round pick William Nylander from MODO of the

Swedish Elite League.

The move was announced ahead of the team’s first game of a four game road-trip that begins Wednesday in Los Angeles. The announcement was made via a press release from Nylander’s MODO club.

The 18-year-old will report to the team’s American Hockey League Affiliate the Marlies. In 21 games this season with MODO, Nylander has eight goals and 20 points. He is also coming off an impressive outing at the World Junior Hockey Championship where he finished in a tie for second place in tournament scoring with 10 points in seven games, just one back of Sam Reinhart, Connor McDavid, and Nic Petan for the tournament lead.

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Statement from MODO

MODO’s general manager released a statement following the recall suggesting it was a bittersweet to have to part ways with Nylander and also insisted that the team tried to do its best to keep the young star with the team.

“This is unfortunately beyond our control when the rules of the transitions are written in this way,” said GM Per Svartvadet. “Of course we have done what we could to keep him in the organization since it is a skilled player, but the issue is controlled by SHL agreement.”

A Spot With the Leafs is Possible

Though Nylander will report to the Marlies, injuries to the big club could allow for a spot on the team’s roster for Nylander if the team decides. The Maple Leafs continue to deal with injuries to centre Peter Holland and winger Joffrey Lupul. Holland remains week-to-week with an upper-body injury while Lupul  is expected to be out until early February with a lower-body injury. Both have been out of the lineup since January 1.

Reasons Behind the Move

TSN’s hockey insider Darren Dreger believes the move to bring Nylander back to North America was in part because the Maple Leafs liked what they saw of the eight-overall pick in 2014 at the World Juniors, which were co-hosted in Toronto, as well as wanting to get him accustomed to the smaller ice surface.

Meanwhile TSN’s hockey insider Bob McKenzie agrees and also suggests that the move is also in part to the coaching change which was made in MODO. Anders Forsberg had coached MODO, but was fired by the team on January 4. The team currently sits in last place in the SHL with just eight wins in 37 games this season.


The move to bring Nylander back closer to home suggests the team is at least getting prepared to move him up with the NHL club. The Maple Leafs sent the youngster to the SHL coming out of training camp with the hope that the son of former NHLer Michael Nylander would grow having the opportunity to play with men. And since he sits second in team scoring having missed 16 games with the club, he looks to have exceeded expectations.

The Maple Leafs have won just two of their past seven games and sit 10th overall in the Eastern Conference, so an offensive boost from Nylander could be a welcomed site in the near future.