The Toronto Maple Leafs will pull William Nylander from tonight’s game due to possible COVID exposure. There is no word on a positive test yet, but that will be the next step in determining his immediate status. Sportsnet reported the move late Wednesday afternoon.
Leafs forward William Nylander will not play in tonight’s game against the Canadiens due to exposure to a possible positive COVID-19 case with a close contact outside the team.https://t.co/V7owi1bvV6
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 7, 2021
Maple Leafs Scratch William Nylander Due to Possible Exposure
Nylander is having a very strong year in 2020-21. He maybe isn’t dominating as much as some fans would like, but 13 goals and 30 points in 39 games are more than respectable for the 24-year-old skater. He is also doing an excellent job driving play with a 55.3 percent Corsi For and 6.3 relative Corsi. There is a reasonable argument to make that as good as he’s been, a little bit of bad luck has also lowered the overall production. He is certainly one of the best players in the league despite mild disappointment from Leafs fans.
The Maple Leafs originally drafted Nylander eighth overall in the 2014 Draft and have watched him develop into a true top-six threat. He has two seasons with 60 or more points. One of those was worth serious Calder consideration. Overall, he has 99 goals and 251 points in 346 games. Nylander may be overshadowed on Toronto’s star-studded roster, but there is little doubt he has been worth his draft position.
How Toronto Replaces Nylander
It’s not easy to replace a skater of Nylander’s calibre. He was playing on the power-play frequently as a huge part of the team’s offence. It will take a collective effort to cover his spot for however long he is out. The team may promote someone like Ilya Mikheyev to fill the gap on the top-six and promote Adam Brooks or Alexander Barabanov to the active roster. It’s obviously not ideal to lose Nylander for any length of time, but nobody can afford a major outbreak in Toronto. One only needs to watch the developing situation in Vancouver to understand how serious this could be.
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