Washington Capitals superstar Nicklas Backstrom has been one of the NHL’s best players for the better part of a decade. So, when he sees talent, he knows it. That’s why Toronto Maple Leafs fans should be excited about the praise heaped on the team’s young star William Nylander from Backstrom in his latest interview with Swedish language publication Expressen.
Backstrom, who centered a line with Nylander in this past spring’s IIHF World Hockey Championships and helped Sweden to a gold medal finish, feels that the youngster “will only get better” in the coming years and that he has all the tools needed to be the best Swedish-born player in hockey.
When asked if he feels Nylander is the best chance to be Sweden’s next true superstar, Backstrom replied, “Yes, he is absolutely. He has all the puzzle pieces to be. It feels like he is a quite allround player who takes on himself, and it is important in today's ice hockey. He made a really nice World Cup tournament and he will only get better. It was his first real season this winter and he will grow into an even better player than he already is.”
Pretty high praise from a pretty accomplished and respected player. If Nylander can even come close to becoming the type of player that Backstrom has become, Leafs fans would be absolutely ecstatic.
For a quick refresher on just how dynamic this duo was in the World Championships, check out this highlight reel:
Stick tap to Reddit user MoBizzines for hooking us up with that video.