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Leafs sign first-rounder Nylander

Aug 18, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

2014 NHL Draft - Portraits Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed first-round draft pick William Nylander to an entry-level contract on Monday. There’s no word on the exact financial terms, but considering the limits of rookie deals, it’s likely to be an affordable deal.

The next situation to watch is what, exactly, happens next for the eighth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. There are basically three possibilities for his 2014-15 season: he can stay with MODO in Sweden, play with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies or make the team outright. All three seem like reasonable choices, so it might just come down to how he performs in training camp.

Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis hasn’t been shy about praising the 18-year-old’s abilities.

“Not only does William Nylander bring a high level of speed and skill to his game but he has a very strong character on and off the ice,” said Nonis. “We believe he has a very bright future and are happy to have him signed to his first NHL contract.”

The team lists Nylander at 5-foot-11 and 170 lbs., so there might be some thought to giving him a little more time to mature and add weight to his frame. Then again, that speed and skill may just prove be too compelling to resist.

  1. tomas3345 - Aug 18, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Throw him in the AHL if he does not make the team

    • bsaures - Aug 18, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Thats stupid why burn a year off his super affordable elc when he can play in the SEL with talent comparable to the AHL without losing that year.

      • c9castine - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:05 PM

        to have him on this continent playing in the system against other future nhlers and veterans with an opportunity to play in the nhl makes a lot more sense to me than going back to sweden where hes already played.

      • bsaures - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:47 PM

        Thee are several obvious reasons

        1 he Is 170 lbs. He needs a year to beef up playing in a less physical euro league would make it less likely he gets injured.

        2 you dont waste a year of his elc on a meaningless year in the ahl. In the cap era keeping players cheap as long as possible is important.

        3 the competition is comparable or even better than the ahl. The proof look at the spengler cup last year rochester was in it and they got spanked by euro teams who weent even good teams in their league. The SEL has the talent to challenge him as much or more than the ahl can.

        4 his preferance he would likely rather play at home if he isnt going to play in the nhl. Its the same situation as guys like kuznetsov they dont want to play for penuts in the ahl if they can stay home and make as much or more.

        a player can pick up a system in a few weeks and even with him on the leafs this year at best they are a fringe playoff team so why waste it for essentially nothing

      • jinx21fan - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:37 AM

        He can go to the AHL and not burn a year off his ELC. As long as he doesn’t play 10 games with the Leafs.

  2. dohepa - Aug 18, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Bold move leaving King’s Landing

  3. thatguytml92 - Aug 18, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    The only reason him going to the marlies would be a smart move is because he can learn the leafs system and gain chemistry with future leaf players. Him and connor brown on the same line would be smart

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