The Florida Panthers are the holders of the #1 overall selection in this years NHL entry draft and while this draft isn’t as deep or star studded as past years, there are still some players the Cats could definitely use. Lets take a look at the #5 prospect in this years draft according to the scouting service ISS Hockey and see what he could bring to the Panthers. According to this article on the Edmonton Journal, the reason why Dale Tallon has made it known to everyone that the #1 pick is up for trade is because he wants to draft William Nylander. Recently, the Edmonton Journal also posted this article stating Tallon is also interested in Nikolaj Ehlers. There will be tons of interest in the first pick and I wouldn’t mind trading down if we could get a player that helps the team now and a first round pick in return.
William Nylander: Last name sound familiar? That’s because William is the son of former NHL player Michael Nylander. William spent time playing in both North America and Sweden. The 2012-2013 season was the most impressive from the skillful Nylander as he amassed 43 points playing for Sodertalje U-20 team in Sweden’s second league. Later in that year, Nylander went on to win a gold medal for Sweden’s U-17 team in the World Hockey Championship, compiling 10 points in six games. Here’s his description from his page on eliteprospects.com, “Nylander is an extremely skilled, dynamic player who has quick hands and feet that make him dangerous offensively. He has great top-end speed, a strong burst and elite vision. He can distribute the puck like few other his age. An intelligent player, he out-thinks opponents regularly.”
- Why he would fit: Nylander plays both center and right wing which would add even more versatility to the Cats lineup and he has elite speed. Nylander has also played in leagues that have much older players playing. At one point in time William actually played on a team with his father and former NHL’er Michael Nylander. This I believe makes Nylander more equipped to step in and make an impact at the NHL level. He would also add some scoring punch the Panthers horrendous offense.
Panthers Forward Depth ChartLeft WingersCentersRight Wingers
Sean Bergenheim Aleksander Barkov Brad Boyes Jonathan Huberdeau Nick Bjugstad Scottie Upshall Tomas Fleischmann Vincent Trocheck Tomas Kopecky Quinton Howden Drew Shore Bobby Butler Joey Crabb
- Why he wouldn’t fit: Nylander has bounced around from team to team so it makes me wonder if he could find some consistency at the NHL level. Nylander also isn’t very responsible in the defensive zone and he lacks the strength to match up against NHL players. However, with a strong offseason this could change. Taking Nylander #1 would be a massive reach as well. If we trade down and stay in the 4-7 range I would have no problem taking him as his offensive ability is amazing.
What do you think about Nylander? Should we take him at #1? Should we trade down to get him? Lets us know in the comments section and follow therattrick on twitter @FANSIDEDTHERAT.