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Friedman drops some intriguing William Nylander news


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Mike Armenti
September 16, 2023  (10:03)
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There hasn't been much chatter surrounding William Nylander this week. No new information on his contract talks, no new information on any potential trade scenarios. Nothing. However, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman did drop a pretty juicy tidbit about Nylander on Friday's edition of his 32 Thoughts podcast.

Prior to jumping into a series of interviews with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Jack Hughes and Leon Draisaitl, Jeff Marek asked Elliotte Friedman whether or not there was anything new to report on the Nylander situation in Toronto. Friedman, of course, had stated that it was status quo on the contract talks, but he did have something interesting to say about a potential role change for Willy next season.
"I think this is going to play out over the year. I really think that's the position, but one of the things I've heard kind of talked [about] out there is that, will the Leafs try him again at center? I think that's been something that's [been] discussed." - Friedman on Nylander

Nylander's previous looks at center didn't last long. Obviously, the are questions about his 200-foot game, but also, are the faceoff abilities there? If they're considering moving Nylander to center, is it in a 3rd line capacity? Or would he be bumping John Tavares or Auston Matthews over to the wing?
Last season, we saw the Leafs try to transition Tavares over to the wing, but that wasn't a permanent solution. Tavares ended up back at center during the playoffs, but that wasn't all that surprising, since Tavares is one of the better faceoff men in the league.
With training camp coming up this week, we'll get a better idea of what the Leafs are thinking. If Nylander lines up on the right side again, we'll have our answer as to where he'll play in 2023-24. However, if he begins taking reps at center during camp and the preseason, we may have a little more to talk about here.
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SEPTEMBER 16   |   169 ANSWERS
Friedman drops some intriguing William Nylander news

Should the Leafs shift William Nylander over to center this season?

Yes3218.9 %
No9355 %
Been there, done that... didn't work4426 %
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