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Buffalo Sabres select Alexander Nylander 8th overall, trade for Dmitry Kulikov


Fri, Jun 24th 2016 11:45 pm

The Buffalo Sabres selected forward Alexander Nylander (Mississauga - OHL) with the eighth overall pick of the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center on Friday.

Nylander (age 18, 6'1", 178 pounds) finished the 2015-16 season ranked third among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting after leading all Mississauga skaters in goals (28), assists (47) and points (75) in his first season with the Steelheads, adding a team-high 12 points (6/6) in six playoff games. The 75-point output, which also led all OHL rookies, earned Nylander both OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year honors.

A native of Stockholm, Sweden, and the son of former NHL player Michael Nylander, Alexander also excelled in international competitions in 2015-16, representing Sweden in two different tournaments and posting more than a point per game in both. He led Sweden's 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship team with nine points (4/5) in seven games and earned a silver medal while leading Sweden with 11 points (3/8) in seven games the 2016 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.

On Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres announced the team acquired defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (33rd overall) from the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Mark Pysyk, a second-round pick in 2016 (38th overall) and a third-round pick in 2016 (89th overall).

Kulikov (age 25, 6'1", 204 pounds) completed his seventh NHL season with the Panthers in 2015-16, totaling 17 points (1 goal, 16 assists) and a plus-8 rating in 74 games while logging 21:02 of ice time per game. In 460 career NHL regular-season games, Kulikov has recorded 138 points (28/110) and 300 penalty minutes, ranking second among Panthers defenseman in goals, assists and points during that span. Kulikov has also appeared in 13 career NHL playoff games, tallying five points (1/4) in those contests.

Prior to being selected by Florida with the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, Kulikov played one season for the Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL), where he recorded 62 points (12/50) in 57 games in 2008-09. He added 19 points (2/17) in 19 QMJHL playoff games to help lead the Voltigeurs to a QMJHL championship. His season in Drummondville earned him several honors, including QMJHL Rookie of the Year and QMJHL Defenseman of the Year.

Kulikov, a native of Lipetsk, Russia, has represented his country at several levels, including the IIHF World Championship, the IIHF World Junior Championship and the IIHF Under-18 World Championship. He has also been named to Russia's roster for the inaugural World Cup of Hockey, to be held this September in Toronto.

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