By Erica Whyte (published on June 17, 2019)
For Rochester Americans forward Alexander Nylander, the 2018-19 season was a career-year as he recorded a personal-best 12 goals and 31 points in 49 games with the Amerks. Additionally, Buffalo’s first-round selection (eighth overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft added four points on a pair of goals and two assists in 12 games with Sabres in the third year of professional hockey in North America.
“I thought it went really well this year,” said the 21-year-old, who since joining the Amerks in three seasons ago remains the youngest player on Rochester’s roster. “I had a lot of fun this year with a great group of guys.”
“I had a bit of a dip there in the middle of the season but other than that I finished off really strong and had a really good start,” he reflected on locker cleanout day.
WATCH: ALEXANDER NYLANDER YEAR-END INTERVIEW WITH ERICA WHYTE
After opening the year with eight points (3+5) in the first seven games of the campaign and notching seven more points (4+3) over his final six contests of the slate, a late-season lower-body injury forced him to miss the Amerks playoffs.
“It was obviously really frustrating,” said the Sweden native of the injury that happened in the final weeks of the regular season while with Buffalo. “It took longer (to heal) than we thought it was going to be, so it was just frustrating sitting out and not being on the bench and helping the guys out.”
With a few minor ups and downs throughout the course of the season, Nylander said that the biggest obstacle this year was battling that injury bug.
“I was a little bit injured,” Nylander explained. “Lots of little injuries this year, that was kind of annoying.”
As for highlights, Nylander added that his time with the big club tops the list.
WATCH: ALEXANDER NYLANDER YEAR-END INTERVIEW
“It was a lot of fun to get more games in (the NHL) than the last two years. To get the call-up was really exciting,” he said. “It was really good for me to get those games. I’m going to be more experienced going into next year. I proved to myself that I can play up there, so I’ve just got to put the time and effort in on and off the ice this summer to be ready for the season next year.”
Speaking of off-season, Nylander will be back in Sweden with his family with one clear goal in mind:
“I’ll train hard and focus on trying to be as ready as possible for training camp and for next season to make the Sabres opening night roster.”