The Blackhawks announced Wednesday morning that forward Alex Nylander had successful surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee and is expected to miss four-to-six months.
Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said Nylander sustained the injury during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“He initially rested and trained conservatively," Terry said in a statement. "Unfortunately, his symptoms came back when he started to skate."
The news comes days after the NHL and NHL Players' Association officially agreed to a 56-game schedule for the 2020-21 season, which will begin on Jan. 13. Training camp for the Blackhawks opens on Jan. 3.
The regular season is slated to end on May 8, with the playoffs wrapping up in July. That means Nylander could miss the entire season, depending on how far the Blackhawks go.
It's an unfortunate blow for Nylander, who's entering his second season with the Blackhawks and looking to solidify an everyday spot in the top-nine. The Blackhawks were transparent about their rebuilding process this offseason, and Nylander is a player they'd like to see take the next step.
The 22-year-old winger registered 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 65 games last season and went pointless in eight postseason contests. He is set to become a restricted free agent after this season.