The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently dealing with veteran forward Tyler Bozak being sidelined with an illness according to multiple reports, but Bozak's absence may come with a major silver lining for the Leafs.
On Monday during practice head coach Mike Babcock had 21-year-old forwars William Nylander centering the third line with both James van Riemsdyk and Mitch Marner on his flanks.
Many believe that the future for Nylander in Toronto is at the center position, and perhaps more importantly many believe he would create an even greater offensive threat for the Maple Leafs at the position he is most familiar with. Nylander's position at practice caused all kinds of buzz around the facility, and Nylander only added to it by showing how badly he wants to play center.
From Jonas Siegel of The Athletic:
Though Nylander says he's fine wherever the Leafs play him, it's clear he was enthused by the most recent possibility.
He lingered on the practice facility ice long after most of his teammates, working through potential rhythms of the position with help from defenceman Andreas Borgman.
Nylander's offensive abilities have never been in doubt, however his defensive liabilities are why he has largely been relegated to the wing under Babcock. The injury to Bozak could prove to be a blessing in disguise for Nylander and, if he can demonstrate that he has the ability to be responsible defensively, it could also prove to be of huge benefit to the Leafs in both the short and long-term.