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BLOG: Nylander using Development Camp as early adjustment to new team

The only player with NHL games on his resume, Nylander looking to jump-start his Blackhawks career at Development Camp

by Carter Baum /

In age, 21-year-old Alex Nylander is on par with his fellow Development Camp prospects taking the ice this week at Fifth Third Arena. But the comparables stop there for the No. 8 overall pick in 2016.

Across the rest of the week's roster, just five players have played AHL minutes, coming entirely at the end of last season on amateur and professional tryouts following respective collegiate and junior campaigns. In all, they totaled 33 games with the Rockford IceHogs. Nylander, on the other hand, has 19 NHL games and 165 AHL games under his belt over the last three years - 49 last season alone in Rochester. 

Video: Alex Nylander on Development Camp Day 1

Less than a week after the July 9 trade that brought him to the Blackhawks, though, Nylander wanted to waste no time in getting acclimated to his new environment. 

"I wanted to meet everybody and get on the ice," he said of the decision to attend Development Camp this week. "It's been a couple of months since I've been on the ice, so I thought it was a great opportunity to come here and show what I've done in training through the summer."

Tweet from @BHTVeric: Hello, Alex Nylander. #Blackhawks

It was apparent to anyone watching Monday's first on-ice sessions that Nylander stood out. By resume alone, he should. The versatile forward hasn't been shy about his excitement for a fresh start in Chicago and his hope to be an NHL contributor this year. Only an elite few of the other guys on the ice this week can realistically say the same.

For Nylander, though, Development Camp isn't about benchmarking where he's at in his development, but rather about building momentum for what lies ahead. 

"I was close to making Buffalo last year and making the NHL and being in the NHL for the whole year is my goal," he said. "Obviously you want to be in the NHL as soon as possible…I'm just happy that I've come here now. I'm ready and really looking forward to the future here."

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