NHL Insider shares an interesting update on William Nylander

Published September 16, 2023 at 9:41

It's been all quiet on the William Nylander front this week, with little to no information dropping about any new talks having taken place. There have also been no new trade rumours, leading to plenty of speculation over whether Nylander will simply enter the season with no extension in place.

During the most recent edition of 32 Thoughts on Friday, Jeff Marek asked Elliotte Friedman whether or not there was any update on the Nylander situation in Toronto. Friedman suggested that it's likely that we'll see the Leafs and Nylander continue to work away at this throughout the season, but that it's not something that he expects to get done before the season begins.

That wasn't the only piece of information that Friedman dropped regarding Nylander, however, as he also revealed something about a potential lineup shuffle that would see Nylander playing a new position in Toronto this coming season.

"I think this is going to play out over the year. I really think that's the position, but one of the things I've heard kind of talked out there is that, will the Leafs try him again at center? I think that's been something that's kind of discussed." - Friedman on Nylander

Nylander has had a couple of previous looks at center earlier in his career, but has remained a winger for one reason or another. Questions about his 200-foot play obviously come to the forefront here, as centers draw a much tougher assignment than wingers do and carry a lot more responsibility. There's also also the matter of faceoffs. The Leafs have one of the best faceoff men in the game in John Tavares, and Auston Matthews is no slouch in the faceoff dot either.

We had heard, as recently as last season, that the Leafs could consider sliding Tavares over to the wing full-time. We saw glimpses of that when Ryan O'Reilly first came in last season. However, at the end of the day, Tavares still found himself back at center.

It will be interesting to see how the Leafs approach line cominations in training camp and the preseason over the next few weeks. If we see Nylander taking reps at center, this whole line of discussion becomes far more than just a theory.
September 16   |   103 answers
NHL Insider shares an interesting update on William Nylander

Should the Leafs try William Nylander at center this season?

Yes4341.7 %
No3332 %
Been there, done that. Doesn't work2726.2 %
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