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With Botterill a believer in world juniors, Sabres may let Nylander play

Though Alex Nylander is in his second professional season, the Buffalo Sabres prospect is still eligible to play in the world juniors. That might happen.

General Manager Jason Botterill will continue to talk with Nylander and Swedish hockey officials before deciding whether to release the forward for the world junior tournament. It's being held in Buffalo from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

"I'm a big believer of the tournament," Botterill said Thursday. "I think it's a great tournament for young players to play against their peers and represent their country.

"The fact the tournament is right here in Buffalo versus him traveling halfway around the world makes it an easier possibility."

Previous Sabres GM Tim Murray allowed Nylander to represent Sweden at last year's world junior tournament. The winger had five goals and 12 points in seven games.

It didn't translate to success in the American Hockey League. Nylander had 10 goals and 28 points in 65 games for Rochester.

'We'll continue to look at where his game's at over the next little bit, continue to talk to him and our coaches down in Rochester," Botterill said. "We're just looking at hey, what's the best thing for his development path right now?"

Nylander has played just six games in Rochester this season after suffering an injury during the Sabres Prospect Challenge in September. The 19-year-old has one goal and three points for the Amerks.

"We're just very excited to have him back right now," Botterill said. "It's been a frustrating start to the season for him, but he's excited about being back right now, being part of our group down there."

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