It would be hard to write the script for Alex Nylander's first National Hockey League game any better. On Monday, Nylander will make his debut against his brother, William Nylander, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
— Thuy Lan Nguyen (@ThuyLanWKBW) April 3, 2017
"I'm super excited," Nylander told reporters after Monday's morning skate. "It's a dream come true."
The 2016 first-round draft pick has spent the entire season with the Rochester Americans [AHL]. His stats don't jump off the page -- In 62 games the 18-year-old has nine goals and 18 assists [27 points] with a minus-20 plus/minus rating.
"I think I have been developing in the AHL. [I] have great coaches helping me out, getting me better and improving all areas of my game." Nylander added.
Nylander will play right wing with Rodrigues and Foligno.
— Paul Hamilton (@pham1717) April 3, 2017
The elder Nylander, William, has had quite the impressive season with the Maple Leafs. In 76 games Nylander [William] has 22 goals and 37 assists [59 points]. Alex says it's extra special that he can start his career against his older brother.
"It's kind of crazy that I'm going to play against my brother in my first game," Nylander said with a smirk. He added there hasn't been any trash-talking -- at least yet.
The entire Nylander clan is expected in Buffalo for what's being dubbed online as #NylandervsNylander. While it's not a meaningful game as far as standings are concerned for the Sabres, the Maple Leafs are still very much in a playoff race.