PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Last year, Alexander Nylander was one of the stars of the IIHF World Junior Championships. Playing for his native Sweden, he finished among the tournament leaders with 12 points (five goals, seven assists).
But to make that happen, Nylander need permission from the Buffalo Sabres organization. He was playing for the Rochester Americans in the AHL at the time, and the Sabres granted him the necessary release to play for Sweden.
Swedish coach Tomas Monten isn't sure Nylander will get the green light from Buffalo again this year. That's why the forward wasn't part of Sweden's roster at the World Junior Summer Showcase this past week at USA Hockey Arena.
Make no mistake, if he's available, he has a spot on the team. Monten just doesn't think Nylander will be free to be in the mix.
"I don't think so," Monten said in USA Hockey Arena. "Of course if Buffalo wants him to play, we're going to keep our door open. He for sure has a spot on our team but I think he's going to make Buffalo this year. That's why I didn't bring him. We haven't talked in the summer.
"Of course I'm going to ask Buffalo what they think. If he's available, we'll take him for sure but I don't think he is. I think he's going to play in Buffalo."