Nylander is not in the same position he was when he joined the Chicago Blackhawks a few years ago.
During his first season in Chicago, he had opportunity after opportunity on the top lines because he was one of the team’s only young offensive prospects. He spent a lot of time in the top six and seemed to have unlimited chances due to not having a lot of depth around the team.
Nylander put up 26 points in 65 games in 2019-20 with Chicago during his first season with the team. He then missed last season with a knee injury. The Blackhawks traded for Nylander when they sent Henri Jokiharju to the Buffalo Sabres in a one-for-one swap. While this was a trade a lot of people frowned on at the time, I have to say I have come to appreciate the swap.
Chicago needed to add some forward prospects. Nylander is an intriguing forward that could be a great scorer on this team on the second or third line. He is a young guy that the team could use in their core with great skill.
While he has not had the best start to his career, Nylander is getting another chance with this team and if he succeeds could get a bit of a pay raise. In an ideal world, Nylander puts up 10 to 15 goals, plays on the third line, and earns himself a 2 million dollar extension for the next two or three seasons.
I like it when players sign one-year contracts like this because they are betting on themselves that they will have a season where they are worth a little more money at the end of it. Plus should Chicago want to move him at the deadline they can do that as well and add another asset. This is an all-around good extension at a very good price for what Nylander brings to the team.
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Chicago has their stars in Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat. Those two are going to be a big force on the next era of Chicago Blackhawks hockey, but who the secondary players will be is still up in the air. If Nylander has a good season it could very well be him. Hopefully, he will have a long career in a Blackhawks uniform after a great bounce-back season!