Why Nylander should be traded
Detractors of Nylander’s game will point to his lacking effort on defence and willingness to play in tough areas. The winger was second from the lowest on the team in blocked shots, among players with at least 30 games played. He recorded just 14 for the 2019-20 season.
His nine hits were also the lowest on the entire team and it was not particularly close. He was fourth amongst forwards on the team in defensive point shares, suggesting perhaps his lacking defence is overblown. He was also third on the team in takeaways, with 42.
Where the critics really start to get loud is in looking at Nylander’s playoff performances. His goals, assists and points per game all go down when the playoffs begin. Nylander has appeared in 25 career postseason games and has notched just 15 points.
However, in those 25 games, Nylander has only been a minus-1 defensively and has recorded 21 hits and 10 blocked shots. So it would appear his offensive production goes down while he plays a stronger defensive-minded game.
Many fans have struggled to get past his 2018 contract dispute that saw Nylander limited to just 54 games and playing catch up with the rest of the league. In 2018-19, he recorded just 27 points and left a sour taste in a lot of Leafs fan’s mouths.