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William Nylander
Born May 1, 1996 (1996-05-01) (age 25)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
NHL team (P)
Cur. team
Former teams
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Modo Hockey
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 8th overall, 2014
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 2013–present

William Nylander (born William Andrew Michael Junior Nylander Altelius on May 1, 1996) is a Canadian-born Swedish professional ice hockey player who currently plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He was selected by the Maple Leafs in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

William is the son of former NHL player Michael Nylander, who played for the Calgary Flames organization and the older brother of Alexander Nylander, who currently plays in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Playing Career[]

Early Playing Career[]

On February 14, 2013, William made his Allsvenskan debut. Playing alongside his father Michael with Södertälje SK, he earned an assist in his first professional game on a goal by Robert Carlsson.

William closed out his 2013-14 season with a successful 22 game rookie stint in the SHL where he would play as many as 20 minutes a night. Ranked as a top prospect in the 2014 draft, he was selected 8th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

William was highly praised for his offensive talent and puck moving abilities, however criticisms were drawn to his defensive game and small stature, clocking in at 5 foot 9 inches and weighing 169 pounds at the draft combine.

Toronto Maple Leafs[]

After being drafted eighth overall, on August 18, 2014, the Maple Leafs announced that they had signed William to a three-year, entry-level contract.

William impressed early, scoring a pre-season goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. Later, at the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, he finished fifth in tournament scoring, the highest of any player not playing for Canada. He was reassigned to the Maple Leafs' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, on January 12, 2015 to further his development.

William experienced a sensational campaign despite joining the AHL squad mid-season, scoring 32 points in 37 games playing on the right-wing. He was vital in helping the Marlies, who were at the bottom of the standings prior to Nylander joining, reach the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs.

Although he left Modo Hockey after 21 games in the 2014–15 SHL season, William was mentioned as a possible candidate for the SHL Rookie of the Year award. He made his NHL debut on February 29, 2016 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the age of 19.

On March 5, 2016, William scored his first goal against Andrew Hammond of the Ottawa Senators. His first NHL goal was assisted by Brooks Laich (who also assisted William's father Michael on his last NHL goal).

The next season, William made the Maple Leafs roster full-time. He debuted alongside Zach Hyman and Auston Matthews on October 12, 2016 in the season opener against the Ottawa Senators. He quickly found chemistry with his linemates, helping Matthews set an NHL record for most goals scored in a rookie's debut with four by assisting on two of the goals.

On November 1, 2016, William was named Rookie of the Month by NHL for the month of October. He had recorded eleven points in nine games, which was good enough for second in league scoring and first among rookie players.

After his hot start in October, William struggled in November, scoring only 5 points in 13 games. He had a nine-game goalless stretch between October 27th and November 15th. He recovered, scoring twice in three games, but then went on another scoreless stretch, not hitting the twine between November 22 and December 22, a span of 13 games.

William scored in back-to-back games to end the drought. He scored his first NHL career hat-trick on February 4, 2017 against the Boston Bruins. His 61 points helped the Leafs qualify for the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, where they were eliminated in six games by the Washington Capitals.

During the 2017–18 season, William was again placed on the top line with Matthews and Hyman. Early in the season, he went on an 11-game scoring drought, which ended in an overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils.

By scoring that goal, he became only the second Maple Leaf in franchise history (the first being Miroslav Frycer) to score the only goal of a regular-season game in overtime.

William ended the regular season recording 61 points, the same as his rookie season. The Maple Leafs once again qualified for the playoffs, where they were eliminated in seven games of the first round by the Boston Bruins. He recorded one goal and three assists during those seven games.

William became a restricted free agent during the off-season. He went unsigned throughout the summer, seeking a long-term extension as opposed to a "bridge deal" and did not attend the team's training camp.

The Maple Leafs began the season without William, as the two sides could not come to an agreement beforehand. As a restricted free agent, he needed to sign before December 1st to be eligible to play during the 2018–19 season.

While away from the team, William skated in Sweden and Austria; it was reported that he was losing $30,000 in pay each day he remained unsigned. It was later reported on November 10, 2018 that the Maple Leafs were fielding offers for him, just weeks before the December 1st deadline.

Just minutes before the deadline, William agreed to a six-year, $41.77 million contract. He was a healthy scratch for his first game back with the team, but made his season debut on December 6, 2018 against the Detroit Red Wings.

Since of the coronavirus pandemic, there had to be a round before the 1st round which was called the qualifiers in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs couldn't make the 1st Round since they got eliminated by the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-3 in a best of 5 series. Nylander finished with 2 goals and 4 points in 5 games.

Career Statistics[]

Regular season and playoffs[]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2010–11 Chicago Mission U16 MWEHL 29 34 27 61 8
2011–12 Södertälje SK J20 8 1 3 4 2 4 0 5 5 2
2012–13 Södertälje SK Allsv 8 4 2 6 2 10 2 1 3 4
2012–13 Södertälje SK J20 27 15 28 43 14 5 3 5 8 2
2013–14 Modo Hockey SHL 22 1 6 7 6 2 0 0 0 0
2013–14 Rögle BK Allsv 18 4 4 8 10
2013–14 Södertälje SK Allsv 17 11 8 19 6
2014–15 Modo Hockey SHL 21 8 12 20 6
2014–15 Toronto Marlies AHL 37 14 18 32 4 5 0 3 3 0
2015–16 Toronto Marlies AHL 38 18 27 45 10 14 7 4 11 2
2015–16 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 22 6 7 13 4
2016–17 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 81 22 39 61 32 6 1 3 4 2
2017–18 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 20 41 61 10 7 1 3 4 0
2018–19 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 54 7 20 27 16 7 1 2 3 2
2019–20 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 68 31 28 59 12
NHL totals 307 86 135 221 74 20 3 8 11 4

International[]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2013 Sweden WHC17 Template:Goca 6 2 8 10 2
2013 Sweden WJC18 5th 5 2 1 3 2
2013 Sweden IH18 7th 4 4 2 6 4
2014 Sweden WJC18 4th 7 6 10 16 0
2015 Sweden WJC 4th 7 3 7 10 0
2016 Sweden WJC 4th 1 1 0 1 0
2017 Sweden WC Template:Goca 10 7 7 14 2
2019 Sweden WC 5th 8 5 13 18 0
Junior totals 30 18 28 46 8
Senior totals 18 12 20 32 2

International Play[]

Medal record
Competitor for Template:Ihj
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Silver 2018 United States
IIHF World U18 Championship
Silver 2016 United States

Despite being born in Canada and like his brother, William represents Sweden in international play.

At the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships held in Helsinki, he led the Swedish team in points with four goals and five assists. Team Sweden finished fourth at the tournament.

William was also chosen to represent Sweden at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships. He led Team Sweden to the silver medal in the 2018 World Junior Championships where he had 1 goal and 6 assists in 7 games. He was also awarded Player of the game.

Accolades[]

Awards Year
J20 SuperElit most points by U-18 junior (43) 2012–13
World U-17 Hockey Challenge gold medal with Team Sweden 2013
AHL All-Star Classic 2016

Personal Life[]

William was born in Calgary while his father, Michael played for the Calgary Flames.

He spent the majority of his youth in the United States where his father played for a multitude of NHL teams, spending the summers in Sweden. His family later moved to Sweden when he was 14 years old.

He has an older sister, Michelle (born in 1994) and three younger sisters: Jacquline (born 2000), Stephanie (born 2003) and Daniella (born 2006).

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