Sabres' Nylander had another frustrating season

Injuries have slowed the winger down for the last two seasons

Paul Hamilton
May 02, 2019 - 10:59 am

Rochester, NY (WGR 550) - Alex Nylander had another injury plagued, disappointing season. The 21-year-old only played 49 games in Rochester, and then got 12 games with the Sabres.

In those 49 games, the winger had 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points. His stint in Buffalo started very well, but he tailed off quite a bit at the end. Nylander had two goals and two assists for the Sabres.

In early April, Nylander suffered a cut on his leg. He finished the game and Phil Housley said he was day-to-day, but would be fine and ready for the playoffs in Rochester. Nylander never played in the Amerks' three playoff games, and said the cut didn’t get infected. He said, “We got things done on it and it got worse day-by-day. Now it’s getting better and better, but I was still not able to recover as fast as I would’ve liked, so it was really unfortunate that I couldn’t be with the team and on the ice like I wanted to be.”

Nylander was frustrated that he couldn’t play, but with where the cut was, there was nothing he could do, “It was right there where my skate is, so it was really unfortunate that it had to happen for the last two games up there and it was really annoying being up in the stands looking down there, so it was really frustrating.”

Nylander said even if the series with the Marlies had gone five games, he wouldn’t have been able to play. If Rochester had advanced to face Cleveland, he thinks he could’ve played.

Last year, Nylander only got four games in with the Sabres, so he said getting 12 this season will help him moving forward, “It’s good I got a lot of those games in for next year. I thought I played well and I know what I can do up there and now I know what I need to work on for the summer.”

The current Sabres management wouldn’t have handled Nylander the same way Tim Murray did. The winger would not have been playing in the AHL at 18. Nylander said, “I could’ve gone back and done something else my first year, but other than that, I was unfortunate to have an injury last year that cost me three months to go with the injuries of this year. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve learned and stuff I had to go through, but overall it’s going to make me a better player and a better person heading into next season.

“Obviously it’s going to be a huge season for me and I can just take everything I’ve learned and put it all into having a great season next year.”

Two of Nylander’s seasons have been spent with Chris Taylor. Taylor is a hands-on type of coach and Nylander likes that, “He’s helped me a lot throughout the two years here. We’ve gone through a lot of video going through what I can improve on in my game as well as stuff I need to think about when I’m on the ice has been a huge help.”

When Nylander arrived for Prospects Camp, Taylor was very impressed with the work that the winger had already put in. This season, Nylander has plans for the summer, “The goal is to get a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger and get in some good skating and take what I’ve learned throughout this year and put it all together with my summer training.”

I agree with Nylander, it will be a huge season for him as it's time for him to step up and take a role with the big club.

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