Blackhawks bring back forward Alex Nylander on a one-year deal


TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 18: Alex Nylander #92 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on January 18, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blackhawks defeated the Maple Leafs 6-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Having traded away one of their young defenseman two years ago to acquire him, the Blackhawks hoped to help restart the career of the eighth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

After two seasons, the team will give Alex Nylander another shot to continue to build his game in Chicago.

On Monday, the Blackhawks signed forward Alex Nylander to a one-year contract extension that comes with a $874,125 cap hit.

“With Alex’s pedigree and being only 23-years-old, we feel as if there is still plenty of room for growth in his game. He is just scratching the surface of the type of player we feel he is capable of becoming,” said Blackhawks president of hockey operations Stan Bowman in a statement released by the team.. “This will be an important season for him to perform consistently and contribute offensively.

“His size and skill are a unique combination that make him an intriguing option for our coaching staff to utilize anywhere in the lineup.” 

He was previously extended a qualifying offer in July along with Brandon Hagel and Nikita Zadorov, with Nylander along with Hagel returning to the Blackhawks. Zadorov was traded to the Calgary Flames for a third round pick on July 28th after one season with the team.

Acquired in the offseason in 2019 for defenseman and former first round pick Henri Jokiharju, Nylander played in 65 games with the Blackhawks in his first season with ten goals and 16 assists. He also skated in eight postseason games in the Edmonton bubble in 2020.

It was during that stretch, however, that Nylander injured his left knee, and it would require surgery in December. That put him out for the entire 56-game 2021 season but he is expected to return once training camp begins this fall.

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