Sabres loan Nylander to Sweden for World Juniors

December 21, 2017

The Buffalo Sabres will have a fifth prospect competing at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship next week in Buffalo.

Shortly after the Rochester Americans beat the Belleville Senators 3-1 at Blue Cross Arena on Wednesday, the Sabres assigned forward Alexander Nylander to the Swedish men's national ice hockey team for the World Juniors.

“This is a tremendous chance for Alex to play for his country at the upcoming tournament,” said Sabres general manager Jason Botterill in a team statement. “The World Junior Championship is a prestigious and challenging tournament that we are so excited to be hosting here in Buffalo. This opportunity will provide another important step in Alex’s development.”

Buffalo's first round pick (8th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft has been playing for a little over a month since returning to the ice from a lower-body injury suffered back in September. However, Nylander has struggled to regain his game with just two goals and six point in 15 games.

Nylander will have the chance to rebound at the World Juniors in Buffalo, where he's had a considerable amount of success over the past two tournaments. Nylander has put up nine goals and 21 points in a combined 14 games. He also finished last year's tournament in Canada tied for the lead in scoring with 12 points in seven games. However, Sweden has failed to medal in the past two tournaments, losing in the bronze medal game in both 2016 and 2017.

Nylander will join fellow Sabres prospect Marcus Davidsson on the current roster with the roster needing to be cut to 23 before the tournament starts on December 26th. Sweden will face Casey Mittelstadt and the United States this Friday in a pre-tournament game at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.