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Maple Leafs' Nylander to make NHL debut

Heads list of Toronto new faces against Lightning

by Mike Brophy / Correspondent

LIGHTNING (36-22-4) at MAPLE LEAFS (21-29-10)

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, TSN4, TVAS, NHL.TV

TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs will dress a vastly different team when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

On Sunday, the Maple Leafs traded left wing Daniel Winnik and the Anaheim Ducks' fifth round pick in 2016 to the Washington Capitals for forward Brooks Laich, defenseman Connor Carrick and Washington's second round draft pick in 2016.

On Monday, the Maple Leafs called up forwards William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Zach Hyman, Nikita Soshnikov and Ben Smith from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Toronto coach Mike Babcock said all likely be in the lineup to face the Lightning.

Nylander, 19, Toronto's first-round (No. 8) pick in 2014, has 77 points in 74 AHL games and is second on the Marlies in scoring with 18 goals and 45 points in 37 games this season. He was leading the AHL in scoring when he left to play for Sweden at the World Junior Championship, where he sustained a concussion. Nylander's father, Michael Nylander, played 920 games in the NHL and is thrilled his son is following in his footsteps. 

"He just said he was pumped for me and it'll be a night I'll always remember," William Nylander said.

Kapanen's father, Sami Kapanen, played 831 games in the NHL. Kasperi said he phoned his dad in Finland at 5 a.m. and got him out of bed to tell him the news he was making his NHL debut.

"He was a little sleepy when I told him today is the day, and he congratulated me," Kapanen said. "I think I'll call him after practice and talk to him a little more."

The Lightning played on Sunday, winning 4-1 against the Washington Capitals, and did not skate Monday morning.

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Killorn  - Steven Stamkos  - Ryan Callahan   

Ondrej Palat  - Tyler Johnson  - Nikita Kucherov   

J.T. Brown  - Valtteri Filppula  - Cedric Paquette   

Jonathan Marchessault  - Vladislav Namestnikov  - Brian Boyle   

Victor Hedman  - Anton Stralman   

Braydon Coburn  - Andrej Sustr   

Matthew Carle  - Nikita Nesterov   

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Ben Bishop   

Injured: Jason Garrison  (lower body), Joel Vermin (hand) 

Scratched: Matt Taormina Erik Condra


Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - PA Parenteau

Brad Boyes - Byron Froese - Nikita Soshnikov

Michael Grabner - William Nylander - Zach Hyman

Colin Greening - Peter Holland - Kasperi Kapanen

Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly

Jake Gardiner - Frank Corrado

Maryin Marincin - Stuart Percy

Garret Sparks

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Milan Michalek.

Injured: Stephane Robidas  (lower body), Joffrey Lupul  (middle body), James van Riemsdyk (foot fracture), Jared Cowen  (hip tightness), Tyler Bozak  (upper body), Matt Hunwick (lower body).

Status report: If Carrick plays against Tampa Bay, Marincin could come out of the lineup … Laich was in transit in the morning, but Babcock said he expected to him to play.

Who's hot: Stamkos has scored goals in six straight games … Stralman has three assists in two games … Killorn has scored in back-to-back games and has three goals and eight points in seven games … Callahan has four goals and eight points in four games … Boyes has points in his past two games … Kadri has five assists in his past four games.

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