The Chicago Blackhawks’ forward depth was dealt a serious blow Wednesday, as it was announced that Alex Nylander will be out for an extended period of time after undergoing knee surgery.
According to a press release, Nylander suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had tried to heal the injury through rest and a slowed training schedule, but the injury flared up again when he began to skate.
Team physician Dr. Michael Terry announced that Nylander underwent surgery on his knee Monday to repair the damage, and the forward will miss approximately four-to-six months.
In 65 games with the Blackhawks last season, Nylander scored 10 goals and dished out 16 assists. He didn’t get on the scoresheet in eight playoff games, with 19 total shot attempts and 11 shots on goal during the team’s restarted season in Edmonton.
Nylander is entering the final year of his entry level contract with the Blackhawks, and was hoping to make a big impression on team brass during the season. He likely wouldn’t return until at least the start of the playoffs under the current timetable, and could miss the entire campaign even if the Blackhawks make the postseason.
Nylander’s absence could pave the way for another forward to jump into the mix during training camp. Pius Suter is one such player, and several others, including Philipp Kurashev and Michal Teply, could also be given a serious look.
Veteran forwards like Brandon Pirri and John Quenneville could also get more time in the team’s forward rotation, especially with the expanded rosters afforded teams in the coming season.