(Born in Calgary, AB) Sodertalje, SwedenHeight:
Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)CSS Rank:
3rd among North American Skaters
Alexander Nylander certainly has people in his life to lean on during the upcoming draft process. As Nylander prepares to go relatively high in the 2016 NHL Draft, he follows in his family’s hockey footsteps.
Nylander is the son of former NHL forward Michael Nylander. Alexander was born in Calgary, AB when his father played for the Flames. His older brother William was taken eighth overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. His uncles had hockey careers overseas. There’s no doubt the sport runs in his blood.
However, Alexander is out to carve his own name and is off to a good start, proving himself to be one of the top draft eligible prospects. Nylander potted 28 goals and added 47 assists for 75 points in 57 games this season for Mississauga. He led the Steelheads in scoring by 14 points. He also chipped in six goals and six assists in six playoff games. His season was good enough to earn him the OHL’s Rookie of the Year nod.
Nylander represented Sweden at the U-18s and scored three goals, adding eight assists for 11 points in seven games. The Swedes earned silver with Nylander’s help. At the World Junior Championships, Nylander led Sweden in scoring with nine points (4-5-9) in seven games. Sweden finished fourth.
Like his brother before him, Nylander flashes high-end offensive skill.
“He’s just a dynamic offensive player,” said Central Scouting’s Matt Ryan, per NHL.com. “He has an ability to create offence whether it’s on the rush or off the cycle and his shot and playmaking ability are great. He really has an ability to affect the game in so many ways offensively.”
Scouts have talked about his ability to battle for space on the ice and create offence.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
- Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr: “Nylander is a dynamic player who is an elite skater with a creative skill-set. He has very good offensive hockey sense allowing him to create scoring chances in a variety of ways while making plays at top speed. His offensive instincts make him extremely dangerous in one-on-one situations and a scoring threat every time he is on the ice.”
- International Scouting Services Director of Scouting Dennis MacInnis: “Confident kid who has the skills to win the game on his own. Handles the puck very well at top speed… A lot of similarities to older brother William, both are crafty offensive players with very good playmaking abilities that makes those around him better.”
- Mississauga Head Coach James Boyd: “He plays the game at a fast-fast pace and he’s got a great shot and nose for the net.”