The Toronto Maple Leafs are searching for answers as their schedule continues without Auston Matthews. Some line juggling by Mike Babcock has put William Nylander at centre, a position he hasn't played too much here, but one the organization hopes he can eventually thrive in.
“Playing down low is a little different,” Nylander said, as reported by the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby. “It’s something you think about, you know what you have to do, it’s just a little more time to get into it. If you are in the right position you can go out and be more aggressive; in the wrong position, you’re not that valuable.”
Nylander, from a points perspective, is playing decently well. His 21 points in 34 games won't put him on the same pace as last year that saw him score 61 in 81 games, but head coach Mike Babcock doesn't seem too concerned.
One stat that has clearly been a problem for Nylander is his ability to put the puck in the net. His 5 goals in 34 games put him on pace to score only 12 goals by the end of the year, after putting up 22 last season.
The added responsibility of playing centre may hinder his ability to score even further, or give him the confidence to start producing at the rate we're used to seeing from him.
“Wherever I play, just try to play my best,” said Nylander.