ROCHESTER – Alexander Nylander is expected to return to Rochester's lineup Friday night in Utica, coach Chris Taylor told The Buffalo News following Thursday's practice in Blue Cross Arena.
Nylander, a 20-year-old Buffalo Sabres prospect, has missed the past eight games after he suffered a lower-body injury suffered during practice. Additionally, winger Sean Malone will also rejoin the Amerks, who have won three games in a row.
"It's tough," Taylor said of his suddenly crowded roster. "We have a lot of healthy players and need to make tough decisions right now. We've got Malone and Nylander coming back into the lineup Friday, which means two guys have to come out. It's nice to have those two guys back in, but it's tough decisions for me."
Nylander, drafted eighth overall by the Sabres in 2016, has eight goals among 24 points in 42 games this season. He suffered the lower-body injury during a practice in which he was hit by defenseman Will Borgen and later got tangled up with Matt Tennyson.
Nylander had zero goals in his previous 10 games and only two in 23 games, yet he expressed frustration with the timing of the injury since he felt his play was beginning to improve.
"It was really unfortunate," Nylander said. "I’m just happy I’m back now. I did feel really good before the injury, so it’s annoying it had to happen. I just have to bounce back now and be even better."