Buffalo Sabres prospect Alex Nylander is hoping the third time's a charm. Nylander, 19, is representing Sweden for the third time in the 2018 Under-20 World Junior Championship and looking to bring his country its first gold medal since 2012.
On Tuesday Nylander and Team Sweden made their debut, easily handling Belarus with a 6-1 victory. Nylander tallied two assists in the win and added four shots.
"I think we've got a really great group of guys on off the [ice]," Nylander said after Tuesday's win. "I think we can go really far if everyone plays really good every game and follows the coaches systems, I think we can go really far in this tournament."
Nylander, the Sabres top draft-pick in 2016, was loaned to Team Sweden just last week after starting the season with the Rochester Americans. In 15 games, Nylander has scored twice and added four assists. Despite his mediocre stats, Nylander feels like he has taken a step in the right direction.
"It's gotten a lot better more defensively and offensively as well," Nylander said. "I had a really good summer this year but unfortunately I got injured coming into the season and I'm just trying to get back into my form that I was in before I got injured, which I'm getting back to. I'm just trying to play my game and get back in the rhythm of being good every night."