Nylander named CHL Rookie of the Year

Aaron Vickers2016 Draft Center

First, he was the Ontario Hockey League’s rookie of the year. Now, Alexander Nylander can expand his claim.

The Mississauga Steelheads freshman was named the Canadian Hockey League’s CCM Rookie of the Year after recording 28 goals and 75 points in 57 games this season. Nylander’s totals established a new Steelheads record.

“I saw there were a lot of good names on (the award),” Nylander said. “It’s a big achievement for me. I can’t do it without my teammates and the staff in Mississauga that helped me throughout the year.”

Nylander was selected 12th overall by Mississauga in the 2015 CHL Import Draft.

“I thought it was a great idea for me to come over here to the OHL from Sweden,” he said. “Since I came over, I’ve learned a lot of new things, improved on a lot of stuff. It’s been really good to come over here.”

The Ontario Hockey League named Nylander as the 2015-16 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year in April.

“Few players in the 2016 class are as elusive with the puck as Nylander,” Future Considerations’ scout Scott Wheeler said. “His ability to stickhandle and weave in traffic are matched by arguably the most accurate shot in the class. His ability to pick his spots and cleanly beat a goalie should translate well at the NHL level and his fluid skating will help him become a top-six winger who can score and create plays as an adept passer.

“If he can add some strength, as his older brother William did in his post-draft offseason, Alex has the ability to be a high-end offensive threat at the next level.”

Nylander is seventh in Future Considerations’ ranking for the 2016 NHL Draft. He represented Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and World Junior Championship this season.

Finalists for the award included Matthew Phillips of the Victoria Royals and Vitali Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques.