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2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #6 – William Nylander

William Nylander
Position: C/RW
Team: MODO (SHL)
Date of Birth: May 1, 1996
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Height/Weight: 5’11” / 181 lbs

It’s looking like from a European standpoint, the 2014 NHL Draft will be one of the weaker drafts- the number of quality prospects available is below what we’ve seen the past few years. There are two players who stand alone at the top of the European draft rankings, however- Kasperi Kapanen (look for his profile next week) and William Nylander.

Nylander is the son of former NHLer Michael Nylander, who is still plying his trade in his Swedish homeland. In fact, the father-son duo played together for a brief time in the Allsvenskan. The younger Nylander is a pure offensive threat, with off-the-charts creativity and a nose for the net.

Unsurprisingly for a player of his ilk, his defensive game needs work, but he’s got the potential to be a top-two center in the NHL.

A highly skilled player offensively. Nylander skates very well, has impressive hands and is excellent at handling the puck at high speeds. Hockey sense is very impressive and he likes to shoot the puck a lot, but is also capable of delivering perfect passes. A very agile player that protects the puck well and skates hard in the offensive zone.
On the other hand, his defensive game needs some work. Not a selfish player, but at times he tends to hang onto the puck for too long, instead of making the easier play. Has the tools and skills to lead his team in all
offensive aspects. – Elite Prospects

William Nylander is perhaps the most skilled dynamic forward available. The knock against Nylander is that he hasn’t shown the willingness to utilize his teammates leaving scouts to question his dedication to the team game. Without a doubt, Nylander possesses the puck skills and timely offensive instincts to become a game-breaker but it’s still fairly uncertain how high teams are willing to gamble on such a talent. – Brendan Ross, Dobber

Good fit for the Blue Jackets?

Going back a few years, the thought of two star centers on the Blue Jackets was nothing more than a pipe dream. Now, with Ryan Johansen breaking out in a big way, and 2013 first rounder Alexander Wennberg on the horizon, looking very much like the number two compliment to Johansen up the middle, the Jackets can focus their efforts on getting wingers for these two to play with. Nylander would look terrific on either Johansen or Wennberg’s wing, with the latter duo potentially making an impact internationally for their native Sweden.

Nylander in Action: