With a fresh start and a full training camp ahead for Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander, he’ll be ready to dominate this season.
William Nylander had a tough season a year ago after going through a dreadful contract negotiation with the Toronto Maple Leafs which bled into December. Posting just 27 points in 54 games, Nylander saw his least productive season (in terms of points, more on that later) in his entire career and became a whipping boy who was viewed as “overpaid”.
With a cap hit of $6,962,366 over the next five years, it’s safe to say Nylander is not overpaid.
Fans hated Nylander for his holdout, media attacked him because of his play and on top of all, everyone was wondering what the Leafs were to do with their cap situation.
With the final domino falling yesterday, the Leafs ‘big three’ are signed and the media can stop worrying about the cap situation, which always seems to lead to trading Nylander.
Endless calls for Nylander to be traded were heard throughout the entirety of the 2018/19 season, but one of Dubas’ greatest moves as GM was not trading the star-studded winger.
Nylander can build off of last season
William Nylander may have had his least productive season in terms of points, but his advanced stats were through the roof.
During the time William Nylander was on the ice last season, the Leafs received 56% of their shot attempts, 57% of their scoring chances and 55% of their goals for. These are amazing numbers and were the best of his career.
The easy go-to is to count total points for a player but is far from what fans should be looking at.
Nylander posted the lowest shooting percentage of his career at just 5.4%, down from his 2017/18 campaign which was 10.9%. The low shooting percentage translated to his low goal total. and his numbers should certainly rise this upcoming season as a 5.4% is hard to maintain.
The media loves to hound players for making a lot of money and not posting superstar-like numbers. With a season like Nylander had a year ago looking at his advanced stats and dominating the World Championships as he did, the points will come. Let’s remember, he’s only 23 years old.
Matthews will be able to drive the play for Nylander and open up space, as Nylander will do the same for Matthews. The two players complement each other with their unbelievable skill.
The chemistry wasn’t their all of last season, but there were flashes of stardom for the two when playing together and a full training camp should help.
An experiment Mike Babcock should look to is pairing the young stars throughout the entire pre-season and find them a third linemate. It may also help that the two wont be dragging behind a 40-year-old Patrick Marleau anymore.
William Nylander is in for a big season with not having to worry about contract negotiations or receiving hate from fans (for now).
All stats from https://www.hockey-reference.com.