Alexander Nylander Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #8

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The son of Michael Nylander and brother of Toronto Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander, Alexander Nylander is another highly skilled member of the family. This season, he made his way over to the OHL, joining the Steelheads this season and putting up 28 goals and 75 points in 57 games. Nylander was even better in the playoffs, with six goals and six assists for 12 points in 6 games played. Despite Nylanders heroics, the Steelheads fell in the first round of the OHL playoffs to the Barrie Colts in seven game. Over the course of the season, Nylander also had some international experience. He added four goals and nine points in seven games at the World Junior Championships playing for Sweden. With the Steelheads eliminated, he is expected to join Sweden for the IIHF Under 18 World Championships in North Dakota.

Alexander Nylander Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #8

Left Wing — shoots Right
Born Mar 2 1998 — Calgary, Alberta (plays internationally for Sweden)
Height 6’00” — Weight 172 lbs [183 cm/78 kg]

Alexander Nylander is a tremendous skater.  He has top notch speed and great acceleration, as he is able to reach that top gear in just a few strides. Nylander has the ability to fool defenders by dropping his shoulder and exploding past them to the outside. Add in his excellent agility and the ability to change directions extremely quickly, as well as top notch stickhandling ability and he can be a nightmare for defencemen off the rush. Nylander could stand to bulk up, especially in his lower body, which would allow him to be stronger on the puck and in board battles.

An excellent playmaker, Nylander has the ability to handle the puck as well as make precise passes while moving at top speed. His wrist shot features a quick release, but he must add some upper body strength in order to add more power to that shot going forward. Once he does it will allow him to become a sniper in addition to his current skills as a playmaker. Nylander already possesses the soft hands to finish plays in tight to the net, as well as the instincts to get open in the zone and get his shot off. Nylander’s great vision and good hockey sense also make him a dangerous player when the play is in the offensive zone. He almost always makes the right play with the puck, and can thread the needle through small openings when passing to teammates. Nylander’s top notch stick handling allows him to protect the puck in junior, and will be useful going forward; but he must add more bulk to really succeed in being able to play the cycle game when facing bigger opponents in the pros.

Nylander also has to work on being more conscientious on the back check and not cheat to create offensive chances. His defensive game is a bit of a work in progress, but he seems to be eager to learn and he could go a long way with the proper coaching. Once he learns proper positioning and how to read the play defensively, he should be able to play a solid game in his own end of the rink.

Despite some flaws, the high-end skill is as good as anyone in the draft. He has the potential to be a top line NHL forward if he can fix those issues. It may take some time for Alexander Nylander to be NHL ready, and it should be expected that his development will continue in Mississauga next season. Nylander’s style (not potential, just style), compares well with Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Below is a compilation of Alexander Nylander’s highlight videos as found on youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the #9 prospect on my draft board.

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