Today is the official William Nylander appreciation day at PPP, and you are required to take part. You must comment to this post fully outlining your love of Willie and everything he brings to the Leafs. You don’t absolutely have to add a GIF or photo, but failure to do so will be frowned upon. We may wag our fingers at you as well.
Henrik Lundqvist appreciates Willie:
"I saw him coming and I thought maybe a little jump," Lundqvist said laughing, "but he jumped so high there was no way to stand my ground.
"My first thought was 'I got this,' and my second thought was 'I don't got this,'" he added. "Then you just pile on there and everyone is just screaming."
Nicklas Backstrom appreciates Willie:
The IIHF appreciates him:
Nylander is the only one on this list twice.
Börje Salming appreciates him:
When asked recently about the incessant trade rumours, Salming said:
Never ever. I do not believe that one bit. I can almost guarantee that they will not trade him. He is so talented, a rough diamond. He can make so much difference in a team like Toronto that can participate and compete for the Stanley Cup.
Speaking of those trade rumours. You know, the incessant refrain of suggestive speculation that has this undertone to it that is unpleasant and foolish. “He only scores goals. He likes having the puck too much. Where’s his lunch bucket?” That kind of insidious criticism that isn’t based in reality, which I’m sure you’re familiar with.
Bob McKenzie says he believes all William Nylander trade talk was entirely media driven. "Guys like us." https://t.co/p2E78dnCHK— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) May 24, 2017
Talk radio created it out of whole cloth and the usual prejudices about hockey players. We disapprove of that sort of thing generally, but we’re here for mandatory appreciation, so we’ll discuss TSN’s nefarious ways some other day.
His father appreciates him:
He’s sort of required to, but still, he actually said Willie is much better than he was. (Really, he’s not just talking about hair.)
The Habs appreciate him:
This fan in the seats behind the glass appreciates him:
He hasn’t stood up that fast in years.
The numbers appreciate him:
Fulemin appreciates him:
If you watch Nylander play for any kind of extended period, you eventually find yourself wondering if he’s just way more talented than everyone else playing hockey. He’s an elite puck carrier. He threads passes like he’s going to sew you a shirt. Sometimes he walks in across the right faceoff dot and ruins a goalie’s night with a snipe. And he makes it all look easy.
One of the great joys in recent months has been watching everyone, from Leaf teammates to international teammates to, at long last, the guys at TSN, finally recognize that Nylander is great and getting better. He’s a superstar in his own right playing with another superstar on his line. And he just turned 21.
Now you can appreciate him:
What is it about Nylander that makes you thrilled the Leafs drafted him?