Now back at center, prospect William Nylander eager for chance with Maple Leafs

William Nylander hopes a call-up to the NHL ranks is in his immediate future.
John E. Sokolowski/John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Spo

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander has been the subject of a lot of hype ever since the Leafs selected him with the eighth overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. Last season, the Leafs had Nylander playing on the wing as he adjusted to his first season of North American hockey.

But this year, the AHL Toronto Marlies moved Nylander back to center, and although center is Nylander's original position, he is still adjusting to his different role and added responsibilities at the AHL level. 

Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters he frequently watches film with Nylander to help the 19-year-old learn, and he often puts Nylander on the ice for defensive-zone faceoffs which Nylander normally would not take part in. It is all part of an effort to help Nylander improve in the faceoff circle against players who are bigger, stronger and more experienced than him.

While Nylander works on improving on faceoffs, he has kept pace in terms of production, netting 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 12 games. 

“I’m getting better and better every day,” Nylander told reporters of the adjustment back to his natural position. “In time I think I’ll be [in the NHL], it’s just a question of when and I want to be there as soon as possible.”

(h/t National Post)

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