William Nylander's time will not come, for it is already here

Jeff Veillette
October 21 2016 04:46AM

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Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Toronto Maple Leafs step onto the ice. It's another hockey game for a team that we are all hoping, one day, will reach its potential. But there's still lots of time left; the kids are far too young to be treated as anything more than prospects given an early spotlight, after all, so there's no use in expecting a ton.

Take a guy like William Nylander, for instance. We've got high hopes for William Nylander, as a collective populace. Despite being ranked as the third best prospect in the organisation heading into opening night, he's still got a higher ceiling than most team's #1 prospects at moment. Right now, he plays right wing, because Auston Matthews, Nazem Kadri, and Tyler Bozak exist and because Mitch Marner is the only other hyper-skilled right winger.

If he stays that way, Leafs fans dream that they can have a player who can tilt the ice like Phil Kessel did when he was here. Or maybe dream bigger; like Corey Perry does, or like Patrick Kane does. One can dream.

Hold that thought.

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Prospect Spotlight: Brett McKenzie - How Good is Good in a Draft+2 Season?

Jeremy Davis
October 20 2016 11:00AM

Canucks prospect Brett McKenzie is off to a flaming hot start in the OHL. The 194th overall pick in the 2016 draft has scored seven goals in his first eight games. With five assists to go with them, he is producing at a clip of a point and a half per game.

While those numbers are quite impressive, they come with a caveat - no, not sample size, though of course that’s a relevant point. Instead, I’m referring to his age. Though the Canucks picked up McKenzie’s rights just a few months ago, he’s already playing in his draft-plus-two season, as he was taken in his second year of draft eligibility.

And so we have to ask the question: how good is good in a draft-plus-two season?

Warning! This article contains math! But also highlights.

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Nation Network Statement on the Closing of General Fanager

Nation World HQ
October 19 2016 01:08PM

GeneralFanager

On Monday night the Nation Network learned, along with the rest of the hockey world, that NHL salary resource GeneralFanager.com was off-line for good.

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How has Matthew Tkachuk fared through four games?

Ryan Pike
October 19 2016 11:30AM

Back in June, the Calgary Flames lucked out when they drafted Matthew Tkachuk at sixth overall. A product of the St. Louis minor hockey system (and son of long-time NHLer Keith), Tkachuk was a very good player for the U.S. National Development Program's U18 team and then a very good player for the London Knights last season.

He's played four games thus far for the Flames. If he plays 10 games, the first season of his entry-level contract – the three cheapest seasons of a productive offensive player's career – will be burned off and his deal will begin to run. There are many aspects to the "Should Tkachuk play all season in the NHL?" discussion. For right now, let's focus entirely on what's happening on the ice.

How has he been through four games?

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A Long-Term Look at the Canucks Crease

Ryan Biech
October 18 2016 09:00AM

With a pair of games in the books, it's been interesting to see certain players in their first taste of meaningful hockey for the 2016-17 season.

Looking specifically at the Canucks crease, Ryan Miller already has a sort of shutout but wasn't actually credited with one. Jacob Markstrom looked shaky in his first start but fought through to keep his team in it and get his first 'w' of the season.

Back on the farm, Richard Bachman and Thatcher Demko suffered the Toronto Marlies borderline NHL quality roster, and needless to say, it didn't go well. Both goalies surrendered five goals in their respective appearances.

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