January 12, 2015 12:33 pm

Maple Leafs recall Nylander from Sweden, assign him to Marlies

William Nylander #21 of Team Sweden skates against Team Slovakia during the Bronze medal game in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at the Air Canada Centre on January 5, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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TORONTO – The Maple Leafs have recalled William Nylander from Sweden and assigned him to the Marlies of the American Hockey League.

The 18-year-old, who was the eighth overall pick of the Leafs in June, had eight goals and 12 assists in 21 games for MODO of the Swedish Hockey League.

Nylander also starred for Sweden at the world junior championship in Toronto.

MODO general manager Per Svartvadet said in a press release posted on the team’s website that the club had “no control” over Nylander being recalled by the Leafs.

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“We are extremely proud and happy that we helped William to the player he now is,” Svartvadet said.

Nylander, a five-foot-11 forward, spent training camp with the Leafs but it was clear his all-around game needed work before he could stick in the NHL.

Manager of player development Steve Staios and other Leafs scouts went to see Nylander in Sweden this season. Assistant general manager Kyle Dubas said last month the team was “excited” about his development and combination of skill and speed.

“He’s showing signs, as every 18- and 19-year-old does, now he’s starting to show better ability to check and get the puck back and go back on offence, which is what we want from him to do when he comes over to North America,” Dubas said.

Playing for the AHL’s Marlies could help the son of former NHL star William Nylander speed up his development on the smaller ice surface.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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