By the end of the NHL Global Series finale in Stockholm, the Maple Leafs not only won their fourth consecutive game; but, Maple Leafs fans also witnessed the electrifying performance of the sensational William Nylander. Nylander is now riding an unprecedented 17-game point streak. Even better, he has become a true rock star for both his team and his home country of Sweden.
He not only won games, he took them over. He was the star of the last game against the Minnesota Wild. And, with the help of timely goalie play by Joseph Woll, he helped his team secure a win they probably should not have had. The Maple Leafs were outplayed for about 50 minutes of the total 60 minutes of the game.
Nylander’s Return to His Swedish Roots Was the Story of the Trip
Hailing from Stockholm, Nylander’s return to his roots was nothing short of a triumphant homecoming. Fans lined up for hours, eager to get a glimpse of the Maple Leafs’ standout player. He signed autograph after autograph. Nylander’s impact went beyond the ice arena. He captured Swedish hearts with his remarkable performances and infectious personality.
Throughout my six seasons covering the team, he was happier than I’ve ever seen him. Often he seems a bit distant; however, none of that was present in his time in Sweden. He absolutely seemed to bask in the adoration of fans in his homeland.
Nylander Also Continued to Be a Skilled Maple Leafs Player
In the comeback win against the Detroit Red Wings, Nylander scored a goal and added two assists. His personal magic continued against the Minnesota Wild. In that game, he contributed an assist and scored the game-winner in overtime. He was clearly the driving force behind the Maple Leafs’ success.
Nylander’s performance in this contract year has exceeded expectations. His franchise-record-setting point streak now stands at 17 games. These are not cheap points either – well maybe one last-second point in an overtime period; but, he’s not been lucky – he’s been skilled. The point streak speaks to his impact on the ice.
He now stands with a total of 27 points in just 16 games, which puts him in second place in NHL scoring. But as a Rock Star, Nylander’s influence extended far past the ice. He showed star qualities off the ice. He engaged with fans, entertained children who acted as reporters and made appearances on Swedish talk shows. In all this, he became a true ambassador for the sport.
Nylander Has Growing Appeal Both in Canada and in Sweden
The 27-year-old Nylander had the weekend and the trip home to Sweden of a lifetime. He scored two goals and five points in two games. And, by doing so he has solidified his growing influence. The fans in his home country were in awe – or at least his father was a fan. He wowed his Dad.
Nylander continues to elevate his game each time on the ice, it seems. Now, the pressure shifts to General Manager Brad Treliving to sign a deal. Although there remain some elements of hockey fans who see the logic in trading the young Swedish talent, it just seems illogical to even consider moving him given his success.
Nylander has become the Maple Leafs’ undisputed rock star. He has done it by dominating on the ice and by becoming a charismatic presence off the ice as well.
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