Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is on the radar of Swedish management for the 2016 World Championship. They were in Toronto on Monday taking in a three-point performance by the 19-year-old rookie.
There’s an interest in bringing him to Moscow and St. Petersburg for Worlds, which will kick off on May 6.
However, it does not appear that he will be a part of the team, barring a complete collapse of the Toronto Marlies.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock said after Monday’s win that Nylander will play for the Marlies in the AHL playoffs and not head to the World Championships.
The Marlies have been far and away the best regular season team in the AHL. Their 46-15-5-0 record has them 12 standings points ahead of the next closest team. They’re the only team in the American League to have already clinched a playoff spot.
A complete collapse would be a huge disappointment.
Swedish head coach Par Marts may be hoping for that complete collapse nonetheless. Marts told Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston that the Swedish think tank was in Toronto specifically to see Nylander play. “The main reason is William, that’s for sure,” Marts said.
“It’s important to see them live. You can’t just watch TV or listen to what other people say. I think that’s important for me; I must see them in action, that’s the key.”
Through 12 NHL games, Nylander has four goals and three assists.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.