Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Picking a Side With Alexander Nylander

By Ryan Fedrau
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Alexander Nylander #92 of the Chicago Blackhawks participates during warm-ups before a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on September 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Alexander Nylander #92 of the Chicago Blackhawks participates during warm-ups before a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on September 18, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Alexander Nylander is a polarizing figure amongst Chicago Blackhawks’ fans.

When it comes to Alexander Nylander, it seems like Blackhawks’ fans either like him or they don’t. A middle ground is seemingly nonexistent.

Let’s dive in and analyze Nylander’s path to the NHL and what he brings to the table. From there, it will be up to you to form an opinion.

On July 9th, the Chicago Blackhawks announced on Twitter that they acquired Alexander Nylander, 21, in exchange for Henri Jokiharju, 20.

Since the trade, there has been a lot of buzz among many Chicago Blackhawks’ fans on whether it was a good trade or not.

Alexander Nylander was a key part to the Rochester Americans’ forward group, but he didn’t do much in Buffalo.

In fact, Nylander didn’t do anything at all. He didn’t play much for being the 8th pick in the 2016 NHL draft, a draft that saw players like Alex DeBrincat fall to the second round.

In 19 NHL games, Nylander has 3 goals and 3 assists for a total of 6 career points. In 165 AHL games, he has 30 goals and 56 assists for a total of 86 career points. That is an average of 10 goals a season.

In 3 preseason games, Alexander Nylander has scored 1 goal with 2 assists to add to that. Giving him half of his NHL career total in 3 games.

Nylander will likely only be successful in his early career if he plays on a line with Patrick Kane and/or Jonathan Toews. He needs to add structure to his playing career.

The best way to do this is to play alongside the Chicago Blackhawks’ best. This seems like the best thing for Nylander at this point.

Don’t be sold that fast. Nylander hasn’t played in a game that has meant something yet for the Blackhawks.

There’s a good chance he will be on the first line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to start off the season against the Flyers. This is where the first judgment should be made.

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Before that, there’s a positive way to look at it. I call it the Dylan Strome factor. Before coming to Chicago, Dylan Strome, 22, had 16 career points in 48 games with the Arizona Coyotes.

A change of scenery was what Strome needed. Strome came to Chicago, and in his 58 games, he has contributed 51 points. That is almost a point-per-game.

The Dylan Strome factor shows that any player can turn his career around in a new environment with different players.

It is for this reason that I advise you to not be sold on Alexander Nylander yet or even get your hopes too high. Give Nylander a second chance to see what he can really do.

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