Finally, the World Hockey Championships had some meaning. Usually it’s a tournament that’s on in the background of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, but with the Ottawa Senators still around in those, who really cares? I understand that some will be enjoying the Western Conference finals as Leafs fans go searching for blueline help but, come on. It’s Ottawa. Sorry Justin.
Let us start with Canadian Forward Mitchell Marner.
Mitch started the tournament with 4th-line minutes for Team Canada and basically forced his way into a greater role with his incredible play-making abilities.
Marner spent most of the tournament, at even strength, with Brayden Point and Travis Konecny. With the exception of Nathan MacKinnon, many people would say that line was the most productive of all for Team Canada. Those people would be correct.
Parayko’s goal on Wednesday was recorded at 104mph. pic.twitter.com/cgXZKlPbMz
— Joey Palazzola (@Palazzola_RTN) May 20, 2017
When Marner wasn’t putting the puck on a tee for teammates, he was scoring beauties like this. Well not like this, because this goal is absolutely incredible.
I know some will say, yeah but it was against a terrible team like Finland. I guess we will just have to wait and see what he does next year in the NHL… you know, when he is 20 and already a star.
Mitch Marner destroying ankles at the Worlds pic.twitter.com/XnF8sbQnFk
— Wheeling Problems (@wheelingprobs) May 16, 2017
Marner finished the Tournament with a silver medal and 7th in overall points (4g 8a), playing fewer minutes than most. Skeptics might suggest that there is political reasons he didn’t get more minutes, but I say just enjoy the tournament that he had. And be excited for the 2017-18 NHL season.
While Marner was disappointed in his Silver medal (this kid is so competitive in everything that he does), William Nylander did everything imaginable for Team Sweden in this Tournament.
Playing on a line with Nicholas Backstrom and Oscar Lindberg, it is safe to say that our man William was given slightly more offensively dynamic playing partners than Marner. Simple plan from Sweden, we want our best players playing together because we want to win.
With all of that in place, William Nylander put on an absolute show for Team Sweden, and Leafs fans around the World.
Finishing tied-4th in overall scoring for the tournament (7g 7a), Nylander was absolutely dominant. These types of series of games go directly into the confidence bank when you play like Nylander did.
— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) May 16, 2017
If you are looking for a goal of the tourney, and it’s not going to be Marner’s toe drag goal, pretty sure this is it. Nylander showed speed and strength to bury this one. Easy enough to just flop down and get the penalty (or penalty shot) Nylander stayed with it and slides it between the goalies legs. So damn impressive.
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 18, 2017
We are spoiled in Leafs land.
Once you win the Gold Medal and Tournament MVP this is how you celebrate. Glad the King wasn’t injured. Kudos to you, Slick Willy. Enjoy your summer and see you next season!
WILLIAM NYLANDER IS A GOAL MEDAL CHAMPION pic.twitter.com/hdUxBa85K7
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) May 21, 2017
We are incredibly spoiled in Leafs land. We have Mitchell Marner. We have William Nylander, and our best player chilled at home playing video games and getting some much needed rest.
Maybe the greatest part of the tournament, besides how well our kids played, were the tweets from fans of other teams around the NHL. Many of those fans suggesting trades on how to acquire OUR stars. Think about that for just a second. Fans last night had suggestions to trade for William Nylander, at ANY COST. That is a wonderful spot to be in as a Leafs fan. To them I simply say, ‘ sorry boys… no chance’.
Marner and Nylander hug (leftmost) pic.twitter.com/feGQgtdjdH
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) May 21, 2017
The season is over, the Marlies season is also over, the World’s are over… next step is the Combine, the Expansion Draft (June 21), and then the NHL Entry Draft (June 23/24).
Buckle up. The fun is just about to begin.
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