Blackhawks’ Alex Nylander to miss 4-6 months after surgery

Alex Nylander #92, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Alex Nylander #92, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The morning before Christmas Eve, all was quiet…. And then the Blackhawks announced an injury.

Wednesday morning, Alex Nylander was confirmed by the Blackhawks to miss 4-6 months of hockey following successful surgery to repair the meniscus of the young winger. He suffered the injury during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Originally hoping to avoid the surgery with rest and recovery, it flared and required surgery Monday when he took to the ice again.

This is a blow to both Alex, who was looking to find consistency in his game and ice time, and the Blackhawks, who were looking to see improvement from an offseason of development. Now, Nylander will rehab and the Blackhawks will seek his lineup replacement. But who takes his spot?

Well, this opens the door to players like Philipp Kurashev and Pius Suter and will definitely make camp exciting for them.

I think Suter has the edge by virtue of the out-clause his contract contains and the Hawks want to see what they have in him right away. He is also a little bit older than Kurashev (24 vs 21), and has a track record of success in the Swiss league playing vs men. The Blackhawks think they plucked another Kahun from the European free agent pool and want to see how he translates to smaller ice.

That isn’t to say Kurashev is a bad player, but the way these things go is that the elder player, especially ones with out clauses, tend to get the breaks first. Both should be quality NHL players.

The Forward lines will probably shake out to be similar to this on opening night:

Kubalik – Toews – Suter

DeBrincat – Dach – Kane

Walmark – Strome – Shaw

Janmark – Kampf – Carpenter

That being said, Kurashev won’t be too far behind if Suter doesn’t pan out the way the Blackhawks (and most of the hockey world) thinks he will. January 13th and the start of the season can’t come soon enough.