Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#7. Alexander Nylander – LW, Mississauga (OHL)
An electrifying talent with NHL bloodlines, Nylander is a dynamic playmaker who can maintain a handle on the puck while splitting seams and quickly finding his linemates.
The immensely creative style saw Nylander lead all Ontario Hockey League rookies this past season with 75 points (28+47) in 57 appearances for an up-and-coming Steelheads club.
It didn’t take long for Nylander, the son of former NHL forward Michael and brother of current Toronto Maple Leaf William, to immerse himself into the North American style, with the quick-witted winger often initiating contact to make a play. He gradually became more confident taking the puck into traffic to leverage his fast hands and shooting ability.
Midway through his initial North American campaign, Nylander returned to Europe with his brother to represent Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, scoring four goals and nine points in the tournament’s seven games as his country fell to the United States in the Bronze Medal Game.
The next stages of Nylander’s development will involve developing a more north-south mentality and continued work on his defensive zone play. Nylander will need to get stronger like most players in his age group, but few possess the highlight-reel offensive punch that Nylanader brings down his off wing, making him a probably Top-10 pick just like his brother was two short years ago.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).