Jun 28, 2014, 1:30 AM EDT
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis paid his eighth-overall pick William Nylander quite the compliment following the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday.
“He might be the most skilled player in this draft,” Nonis said, as per the Globe and Mail.
“In terms of being safe, I don’t think it’s a risky pick. One issue for him was his size but he’s grown a lot in the last 12 months. If you watched him a year ago and look at him now, he’s taller, he’s thicker.”
The son of former NHLer Michael Nylander, the 18-year-old William was the first player taken in this draft who didn’t play in either the Ontario Hockey League or Western Hockey League.
As Nonis pointed out, Nylander isn’t the biggest prospect. He was the smallest of the first eight players selected, standing 5’11” and weighing in at only 169 pounds. Clearly, still some growing to do. But his advanced skill could make up for that. After all, isn’t Patrick Kane a bit on the small side when it comes to the hockey standard?
It helps in skill development when your father is a veteran of 920 regular season NHL games, having retired from the league as a player in 2009.
“I grew up around the rink,” said Nylander, as per the Toronto Star. “Going on the ice early, working on small things like stickhandling, shooting before practice.”
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance 65
- Gio won’t go: Flames extend Giordano for six years, $40.5M 13
- Pens’ plan for now: Crosby starts as Kessel’s center 25
- O, Dear: Russia fined $85K for skipping Canadian anthem 28
- Kings ink Ehrhoff to a one-year, $1.5 million deal 27
- Quebec City, Vegas advance to final phase of NHL expansion process 50
- Here’s the full NHL 2015 preseason schedule, starting Sept. 20 5
- Wild assistant Sydor arrested for suspected drunk driving, child endangerment 30
- It’s Montreal Canadiens day at PHT 14
- Capitals’ biggest question: Is this finally the year? 32
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance (65)
- Quebec City, Vegas advance to final phase of NHL expansion process (50)
- Editorial rips Flames’ request for ‘ludicrous amount of taxpayer support’ to build arena (45)
- Capitals’ biggest question: Is this finally the year? (32)
- It’s Philadelphia Flyers Day at PHT (31)