The Toronto Maple Leafs had the chance to lock down one of their premiere players by bringing his brother into the fold. The opportunity was created when the Pittsburgh Penguins cut Alex Nylander.
William Nylander could have had his brother Alexander playing alongside him if the Toronto Maple Leafs were willing to make a roster shuffle.
That’s because the younger Nylander brother was placed on waivers by Kyle Dubas and the Pens.
On Friday, Alexander Nylander cleared waivers allowing Pittsburgh to keep him in their organization.
Toronto Maple Leafs Should Pursue Nylander’s Brother
According to Elite Prospect, Alexander split time between Pittsburgh and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL.
With the big club in the NHL, the 25-year-old played nine games where he recorded a pair of points on a goal and an assist. The bulk of the 6’1″, 192 lbs player’s time was spent in the AHL. While there, he provided a great deal of offense. In 55 games, he scored 25 goals and 25 assists for a total of 50 points.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs would have liked to have two Nylanders on the team, the challenge, of course, would have been finding a spot to slot the versatile forward.
With Toronto already looking at finding a way to make room for Nick Robertson, now isn’t the time for them to take on another project. Unfortunately, Alexander would be exactly that, another project.
This doesn’t necessarily close the door on having both Nylanders playing for the Maple Leafs organization. The price wouldn’t high for a potential trade. Toronto could acquire Alexander during the season and start him playing for the Toronto Marlies.
If the Leafs were to make a trade, Alexander would likely be one of the players called up if the NHL roster gets depleted due to injury.
Though the William Nylander at center experiment appears to have failed miserably, he could look good in the position playing next to his brother. Alexander also has experience at center, which could be another way to get the duo together. These options would be predicated on the Leafs making a deal with the Penguins.
It is too bad that the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t claim Alexander of waivers. Hopefully, William remains in Toronto even if his brother never makes his way to the Blue and White.