Andrew Nielsen

Hometown:

Red Deer Alberta

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1996-11-13

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

3rd Round (65h Overall), 2015

Weight:

210 lbs.

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History

2012-13: Andrew Nielsen played for the Red Deer Elks Midget AA team in Alberta. He scored 8 goals with 17 assists and 124 penalty minutes in 34 regular season games. Nielsen had 4 assists and 16 penalty minutes in five playoff games. 

2013-14: Nielsen made his WHL debut — appearing in a January game with the Lethbridge Hurricanes with no points nor penalties — and played midget AAA hockey with the Red Deer Chiefs in his hometown. He scored 3 goals with 15 assists and 34 penalty minutes in 35 regular season games. The Chiefs finished first in the Chrysler Division, defeating Lloydminster in the AMHL finals before falling to Okanagan in overtime of the decisive third game in the Pacific regionals, missing out on their third straight trip to the Telus Cup. Nielsen had 5 assists and 8 penalty minutes in 11 post-season games. 

2014-15: Nielsen skated in 59 games for the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes in his first season, missing time late in the year with an upper body injury. He scored 7 goals with 17 assists and was -9 with 101 penalty minutes. Lethbridge finished sixth in the Central Division, missing the WHL playoffs. Nielsen was invited to the NHL Prospect Combine in June and was ranked 52nd amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings. He was selected by Toronto in the third round (65th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

2015-16: Nielsen attended his first training camp with the Maple Leafs before returning to Lethbridge for his second WHL season — signing a three-year entry-level contract with Toronto in November 2015. He made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies in April following the Hurricanes’ season. In five games with the Marlies he had 2 assists and was -2 with no penalties. Nielsen played 71 games for Lethbridge, scoring 18 goals with 52 assists, and was +30 with a team-leading 122 penalty minutes. The Hurricanes were one of the big surprises in junior hockey, finishing first in the Central Division after missing the WHL playoffs six straight seasons. Lethbridge fell to Regina in a first-round playoff series. Nielsen scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -5 with 6 penalty minutes in five playoff games.

Talent Analysis

Nielsen is a big, physical defenseman who has taken huge steps during his junior career. A team leader who can generate offense, he also has a big shot that is especially effective on the power play. He continues to evolve in terms of his defensive positional play.

Future

Nielsen was at the heart of one of the bigger turnarounds in junior hockey skating with Lethbridge in 2015-16 and made his AHL debut with the Toronto Marlies late in the year. The prototypical late bloomer, Nielsen will be eligible to play for the Marlies in 2016-17 but could also return to Lethbridge for one more junior season. Long-term he projects as a Bryce Salvador-type physical defenseman.

Nielsen a key contributor in Hurricanes resurgence

by Glen Erickson
on
Andrew Nielsen - Lethbridge Hurricanes - 2015 NHL Combine

Photo: Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Andrew Nielsen was an NHL Combine invite before being chosen by the Leafs at the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

Does Andrew Nielsen have what it take to become a force this season on an ever-improving Lethbridge Hurricanes squad?

Suffice to say that most all of the tools seem to be in place. Read more»

2015-16 WHL Preview: Brandon, Red Deer could be the cream of the Eastern crop

by Chris Roberts
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Jake DeBrusk - Swift Current Broncos; John Quenneville - Brandon Wheat Kings - WHL East Division

Photo: Two players important to their WHL East Division teams in 2015-16 are Swift Current Broncos forward and Boston Bruins prospect Jake DeBrusk, and Brandon Wheat Kings forward and New Jersey Devils prospect John Quenneville (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

 

The WHL’s Eastern Conference was the – slightly – more competitive conference last season, and that should ring true again in 2015-16.

Last season in the East it took 73 points to make the playoffs, while in the West three teams qualified with less than 73 points. The East also featured the league-leading Brandon Wheat Kings, who finished the season with 114 points, two more than the Kelowna Rockets. The Wheat Kings may have lost a couple of pivotal 20-year-olds from last year’s team, as well as Ryan Pilon (NYI), who has taken an indefinite leave from hockey, but the team still boasts depth better than any organization, with a wealth of young, up-and-coming stars. The Wheat Kings, in fact, have landed atop the CHL 2015-16 preseason rankings. Read more»

2015 NHL Draft: Toronto Maple Leafs draft review

by Ed Dermit
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Photo: The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Mitch Marner with the 4th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. (Courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Image)

Photo: The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Mitch Marner with the 4th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. (Courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Image)

 

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs entered the 2015 NHL Draft with a mission to stockpile talent, as part of their well-publicized rebuild plan. To that end, they quickly turned their seven selections into nine, trading their 24th overall selection to acquire additional picks in the upper rounds. Read more»