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Chris Hylands - Rookie Experience


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Chris Hylands - Rookie Experience

 

ESPN.SE - As the season comes to an end, it’s time we reflect back on an incredible year. The expansion of the league went off without a hitch, and the plan to spread out the talent among the league worked flawlessly. Forwards around the league flourished in this new expansion era, with multiple players hitting the 100 point mark for the first time since Season 68. Among those who enjoyed increased production, was the crop of rookie talent that entered the league this year. This group of rookies produced at an incredible rate all season long, and today we will be hearing from the man who topped them all, Chris Hylands.

 

“I really didn’t even know what to expect coming into this season. I had been watching the rookies last season and saw their point production and kind of just assumed I would be lucky to get near what they had done. But, the league expanded luckily for me, and I think all of the rookies, not just myself, have benefitted from that.” Chris Hylands had an amazing breakout season, leading all rookies with 76 points, and also managing to hit the 30 goal mark. The Nighthawks forward is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year, but he’s not solely focused on individual awards. “Of course I would be happy to win Rookie of the Year. It would validate all of the hard work I have put into my career. But the main goal for me, and all of us on Malmo, is making the playoffs. First and foremost we want to be competing for the Continental Cup, and if we so happen to pick up some individual awards along the way, that would be a bonus.” 

 

     Hylands took little time adjusting to the lifestyle of the VHL. In his first season playing for Malmo, he was voted to be the Assistant Captain by his teammates. “I was honestly shocked when coach told me I would be wearing the A this year. I don’t think of myself as the loud and passionate leader, but more of the guy who leads by example. I bring the best attitude I possibly can every day, and I try to treat others how I want to be treated. I can’t thank my teammates enough, because without them, I wouldn’t be here.” When asked about his goals for next season and the future beyond that, he was very blunt about what he was thinking. “We’re going for a Cup. No doubt about it. I just want to come back next season, contribute in as many ways as I possibly can, and win that damn Cup. As far as personal goals, I just want to improve every season. Maybe go for 40 goals next year?” 

 

    What a whirlwind year it was for Hylands and the Malmo Nighthawks. After being the worst team in the league last year, they welcomed a strong group of rookies to the team who helped propel them to a playoff race. It was a close race down to the very end, but they squeaked into the Wildcard round where they are poised to battle it out with HC Davos. As of right now, we are waiting for the playoffs to begin so who knows what Hylands and the rest of the Malmo Nighthawks have in store for us.

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