Our annual Top 25 Under 25 series serves to find the best young players in the Buffalo Sabres organization, be it NHL, AHL, European or junior leagues. We voted on everyone from Asplund to Willman, and the best 25 players get profiled throughout the month of September. Today's subject: Alexander Nylander.
Alexander Nylander, RW
Age: 18 Height: 6’1’’ Weight: 180 lb
The newest player to appear on our list makes a big splash coming in at #4, but that’s only because his talent is so obvious, even when it’s also clear that he’s a year away from regular NHL ice time.
Alexander Nylander was selected #8 overall by the Sabres in this summer’s draft thanks to his deadly combination of speed, vision, and hands. Both his hockey sense and puck skills are exceptional, and this combination of potent offensive abilities has helped turn the young winger into one of the most offensively gifted prospects in this year’s draft.
Skill and speed are the name of the game, and Nylander has both in spades. He’s been the fastest player at Sabres camp this year, and his quickness and hands are on par with the best the team has to offer.
However, it’s also been clear that Nylander still needs time to learn how to handle all the other aspects of the pro game, from getting stronger with the puck to defensive responsibility to learning how to pick and choose his chances more carefully. He’ll be on loan to the Amerks this season, and while he might see some tryout games in Buffalo, a year in Rochester will do him good.
The Nylander family’s athletic pedigree is exceptional - his brother William is already a budding star for the Maple Leafs, while both his father and uncles also played in various pro leagues, from Sweden to the NHL. Alex will almost certainly add his name to the list of Nylanders who’ve earned a spot in the NHL, the only question is how soon.