Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dubas: Nylander Could Force the Hand of Leafs for Call-up

Toronto Maple Leafs prized prospect William Nylander is on the verge of making the show. The 19-year-old center and son of former NHL star Michael Nylander, is currently leading the Marlies in scoring at a 7-7-14 clip in 12th games. That puts him tied for third in the AHL in points. His performance has not gone unnoticed by Toronto brass. In an interview with Sportsnet, assistant GM Kyle Dubas hinted that Nylander's improved play in the defensive zone might soon force the team to give him a shot at the NHL level.

"William, especially of late, has begun taking another step in his development. I think if he can continue to sustain the way that he's played this past week or two on both sides of the puck--his offensive ability has always been there and now he's starting to really become consistent in not playing on defense very long. He's back in the right position, separating players from the puck and moving the puck back on to offense--if he continues to do that consistently he'll start to force the hand of the team.

How long that is, I'm not sure. I know that we have a patient approach. We don't want to leave him down there over-baking, but at the same time we want to make sure that he's mastered that level before he comes up and we rush him up to the NHL."