2022-2023 Toronto Maple Leafs Player Grades: Part 3

The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate winning Game Six of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs on an overtime goal by John Tavares #91 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on April 29, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate winning Game Six of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs on an overtime goal by John Tavares #91 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on April 29, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
May 12, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (88)  Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

#8. William Nylander

Stats with the Leafs:

Regular Season:

Games Played: 82

Goals: 40

Assists: 47

Playoffs:

Games Played: 11

Goals: 4

Assists: 6

Contract Status:

Signed through 2023-24 at $6,962,366M AAV.

Overall Thoughts:

Wee Willy Nylander was one of only four players to compete in all 82 games of the schedule in 2022-23. He also scored 40 goals for the first time in his career. Keefe toyed with Nylander as a penalty killer last pre-season and in a few games when points were up for grabs, but it never materialized into a permanent thing.

Nylander is perhaps the most skilled player in the organization. The trouble is that it seems like he shies away from contact and doesn’t always play to his maximum abilities.

Often, Nylander loafs in the neutral zone and does not provide the Leafs D corps a proper outlet. His added attention to playing the full sheet of ice could make him elite.

Still, Nylander had a fantastic season. He has sick speed and can make many NHL defenseman look like they are back in Bantam. In addition, Nylander had a knack for scoring important goals. He tied the game late against the Florida Panthers on ghost pepper hot Sergei Bobrovsky in the Leafs’ playoff elimination game.

Nylander was also third on the team in regular season game-winning goals – many of them coming in overtime. He finished second behind Mitchell Marner in total points, despite Keefe assigning him fewer minutes than both Marner and Auston Matthews.

Nylander gets an ‘A’, but it just seems like he could do so much more.

A. . Winger. Toronto Maple Leafs. WILLIAM NYLANDER