ZURICH – The IIHF Council decided that 16-year old William Nylander Altelius is eligible to play for Sweden in IIHF competition. The Council considered this an exceptional circumstance as the dual citizen, at present, does not fulfill the IIHF’s eligibility requirements for any country.
In order to protect the developmental systems of the IIHF member nations as well as the integrity of international competition, the IIHF has the following rule for players who are, or have been, multiple citizens and who have yet to play international ice hockey under IIHF auspices:
The player must have been a resident of that country and must have participated for at least two consecutive years (730 days) in the national competitions of the country he wishes to represent. For the purpose of this rule, the IIHF considers years after the player’s 12th birthday.
William Nylander Altelius, the son of former Swedish national team player and long-time NHLer Michael Nylander, was born in Calgary, Canada on May 1, 1996 and has after the age of 12 played in the USA and Sweden. He holds both a Canadian and Swedish citizenship.
The player does not hold an American citizenship, so playing for USA Hockey has not been an option.
In the last two seasons 2011-2012 and the current 2012-2013 Nylander Altelius has played for Södertälje SK in the Swedish junior league but has not yet accumulated the necessary consecutive 730 days.
But according to the bylaw 205.1.8 “Exceptional circumstances can be decided by Council” and the IIHF highest executive body did just that at their scheduled meeting in Zurich on Tuesday
“There is no question that this is a good example where the exceptional circumstances clause must be used,” said IIHF president René Fasel. “The player is Swedish, he is a permanent resident of Sweden, his father is one of Sweden’s best players of the modern era and the player has the desire and ability to play for his country internationally. So although at present the 730 days are not accumulated, the council was unanimous that flexibility and common sense should be applied.”
At 16, William Nylander Altelius is second in scoring in the Swedish U20 SuperElit junior league with 10 goals, 22 assists, 32 points in 21 games, where he averages 28:14 in time on ice.
He is likely to be selected to the Swedish team for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Sochi, Russia, April 18-28.