The Chicago Blackhawks experiment with Alex Nylander has come to an end. The much maligned 23 year old forward was traded today for 26 year old forward Sam Lafferty.
Right from the start, when Alex Nylander was traded for Henri Jokiharju, no matter what he did, he was never going to be given a fair chance by Blackhawks fans, just because of the player he was traded for. A good chunk of the criticism thrown his way was justified as Nylander was invisible a lot of times and never really put in a whole lot of effort away from the puck. It was definitely frustrating.
That being said, in 2019-20 he put up 10 goals and 16 assists in 61 games, missed all of last year with an injury, and put up a respectable 8 goals and 4 assists in 23 games with Rockford before being traded. The Blackhawks should’ve at least tried to call him up before trading him and given him one last chance because this team is starved for goal scoring.
As for Sam Lafferty, he is a right handed forward who can play center and has 21 points in 94 career NHL games, so he's not going to solve the Blackhawks offensive woes. Lafferty is interesting because this is the second straight trade where Kyle Davidson has acquired a probable career fourth liner with size, the first being Kurtis Gabriel.
I’m not sure what else he could’ve gotten for Nylander, but it would’ve been nice to get someone with a bit more upside. Though it’s still way to early to make a judgment call on Davidson with the trade deadline being over two months away.
Despite all the flack Nylander took from Chicago fans, including me, I really hope he finds a home in Pittsburgh. All of this falls back on Stan Bowman. What a disastrous trade that was.