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Nylander in middle of pack for AHL 18-year-olds

Alex Nylander will play his first regular-season game in Buffalo on Wednesday night. The Sabres’ No. 1 draft pick arrives with middling statistics.

Really, he’s right in the middle.

The Amerks forward is in a small pool of 18-year-olds who have gotten to test their skills in the American Hockey League. The premier minor league is off-limits to North American prospects under age 20 (unless their junior season is over), so very few teenagers get to play.

According to the search tool at EliteProspects.com, there have been 249 18-year-olds in the AHL since 1990. Only 20 have played more than 15 games.

Here is how Nylander stacks up so far.

Name-Games-Goals-Assists-Points-Points per game

Róbert Döme (RW)         36     21     25     46     1.28
David Pastrnak (RW)         25     11     17     28     1.12
Jozef Cierny (LW)         54     27     27     54     1.00
William Nylander (C/W)     37     14     18     32     0.86
Nikita Filatov (LW/RW)         39     16     16     32     0.82
Jesse Puljujärvi (RW)         17     6     7     13     0.76
Václav Prospal (LW)         55     14     21     35     0.64
Nicklas Bergfors (RW/LW)     65     17     23     40     0.62
Kevin Fiala (LW/RW)         33     11     9     20     0.61
Alexander Nylander (RW/LW)     46     6     15     21     0.46     
Radek Hamr (D)         59     4     21     25     0.42
Yevgeni Lazarev (RW)         53     6     15     21     0.40
Vyacheslav Voynov (D)         61     8     15     23     0.38
Libor Polasek (RW)         60     7     12     19     0.32
Zemgus Girgensons (C/W)     61     6     11     17     0.28     
Oliver Kylington (D)         47     5     7     12     0.26
Hampus Lindholm (D)         44     1     10     11     0.25
Michal Grosek (LW)         20     1     2     3     0.15
Yan Golubovsky (D)         57     4     2     6     0.11
Viktor Uchevatov (D)         64     0     2     2     0.03

Nylander sits 10th among the 20 players, right in the middle.

Success or failure at 18 is not an indicator of future NHL success. Döme played just 53 games with Pittsburgh and Calgary after being a first-round pick in 1997. Grosek, as Sabres fans know, carved out a long NHL career that lasted 526 games.

Some have been wondering what is really expected of Nylander in the AHL at age 18, so this shows how his stats rate against his peers.

 

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