Maple Leafs make right call on Nylander, wrong destination though
By Chris Savard
Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that 2014 first round pick William Nylander had been returned to the Swedish Elite League. The Leafs made the right call by not rushing the youngster, but is Sweden the right place for him? Mississauga Steelheads or Toronto Marlies may have been a better destination for him.
Stoney Point - October 7, 2014 - Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that 2014 first round pick William Nylander had been returned to the Swedish Elite League. The Leafs made the right call by not rushing the youngster, but is Sweden the right place for him? There is no question that at 169 pounds that he needs to put on some weight and grow his game before he is ready for the NHL.
That said, it is hard not to think that he would have been better off to stay in Canada to get acclimatized to the North American game and rink. The Mississauga Steelheads took a big risk with major upside by selecting Nylander with their first pick (13th overall) in this summer’s CHL Import Draft. The OHL is a proven development ground and would have been a good place for the young centre to land. The AHL Toronto Marlies were also another option that the Leafs could have explored. While I thought he would have stuck around for the first nine NHL games, the Leafs were smart not to rush him into the hockey spotlight that is Toronto.
Truculence Era Over? – Yesterday, marked a change in direction for the Maple Leafs. Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren were placed on waivers Monday along with defenceman Korbinian Holzer for the purpose of assignment to the American Hockey League's Marlies. Leafs fans, myself include, enjoy a good tustle and an “in your face” style of hockey. Chances are one or both will clear waivers and end up with the Marlies – so at least they are still available to the Buds on a call-up basis.
Spitfires camp news - A number of current and former Windsor Spitfires have hit the transaction wire in the last 24 hours. New York Islander first round pick, Josh Ho Sang was returned to Windsor yesterday and will be made available to the local media this week. Kerby Rychel was assigned to the Springfield Falcons by the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pat Sieloff was sent to the Adirondack Flames by the Calgary Flames. On Saturday, Alexander Khokhlachev was sent to the Providence Bruins by Boston.
Fantasy Season returns! - It is an exciting time for Fantasy Hockey players all across the world. This year mark’s the 19th season of the Cornwall Fantasy Hockey League that my dad started. Hard to believe that this weekend we were drafting kids that were not even born when our league started! With week one, comes the usual tough questions – Phil Kessel is listed as day-to-day – do you dress him or go with a depth guy?
Hometown Hockey - Rogers recently announced a new feature for their broadcasts called Hometown Hockey. Those of us at HometownHockey.ca think it is a great name and welcome the assistance with brand awareness. Looking forward to seeing the Ron MacLean feature each week. First stop on the tour is this weekend in London, Ontario.
In his lifetime, Chris Savard has spent time as both an elected official and a hot air balloon pilot. As such, FULL OF HOT AIR seemed to be an appropriate name for this column. Savard will provide his thoughts on a number of topics including hockey on this site, as well as politics and local issues on OurHometown.ca. His opinion combined with $1.60 will buy you a medium coffee at Tim's! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org