There has been talk about the possibility of moving William Nylander to the center position for a long time. However, that possibility has resurfaced during the past week or so.
This past week, in an interview, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe reported that he was going to try the idea of Nylander playing at the center position. In fact, it seems like Nylander is fully on board with the change. Keefe discussed this potential shift as the team prepared for training camp, highlighting the versatility it could bring to their lineup.
Head Coach Keefe Discusses the Possibility
In the video below, Keefe discusses the possibility.
The Plan Is Something the Team Has Talked About with Nylander
Keefe acknowledged that the thought of Nylander playing center has been considered and is not going to be tried. He’s had conversations with Nylander during the offseason, and it’s clear that they both see the benefits of this move.
While Nylander has occasionally played at center, transitioning from wing to center during a game can be challenging. Therefore, the coaching staff wants to allow Nylander to grow into the center position during camp and gain the confidence to excel in that role.
Nylander Is Fully On-Board
Nylander is willing to embrace this change, and that is a positive sign. He has experience playing center from his earlier days and even during his time with the Toronto Marlies in the AHL. Keefe sees this as a logical progression for Nylander. He’s interested in giving the team a chance to explore how it could impact both Nylander’s performance and the team’s overall play.
The Plan Is Not a One-Time Thing
Keefe emphasized that this move won’t be a one-time experiment. The team intends to give the move some time so as to assess its potential fully. While there’s no specific timeframe, the goal is to see how Nylander’s transition to center evolves over an extended period. It won’t just be in a single preseason game or as a brief trial. It’s going to be more of a deal.
The Bottom Line
In summary, the Maple Leafs are exploring the possibility of using William Nylander as a center, a move that could add depth and versatility to their lineup. Nylander and Coach Keefe are both enthusiastic about this potential shift, and they plan to give it the time it needs to develop and impact the team’s performance.