Tom Nilsson
Image: SHL

Tom Nilsson

Hometown:

Mora Sweden

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1993-08-19

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2011

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

4th round (100th overall), 2011

Weight:

176 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

2008-09: Tom Nilsson played for the Hanvikens SK youth club and appeared in five games with AIK's U-16 team – with no points and 4 PMs.

2009-10: Nilsson spent the season with Mora splitting the year between the U-18 team at the Elitserien and Allsvenskan junior levels as well as playing three games at U-20. Scoreless in the three U-20 games, Nilsson played 35 games at the U-18 level and scored 11 goals with 9 assists and had 30 PMs.

2010-11: Nilsson spent the bulk of the season with Mora's U-18 and U-20 teams and made his pro debut with Mora (Allsvenskan – Sweden’s second division) – playing three games in the regular season and ten more in the Kvalserien (relegation playoffs). While his offensive contribution wasn't much of a factor, just one assist in 13 games, his physical, defensive play confirmed much of what scouts saw of him with Team Sweden at the 2011 World U-18 Championships. In six games, he had one assist but at times was Sweden's most noticeable defenseman. In 37 games for Mora's U-20 squad, he scored 2 goals with 6 assists and drew 26 PMs. In 12 contests with Mora U-18, he had 1 goal, 7 assists and 22 PMs. Though not listed among the top 140 European skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings, Nilsson was selected by the Maple Leafs in the 4th round (100th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

2011-12: Nilsson skated in 44 of 52 games for eighth-place Mora IK in Sweden's AllSvenskan (second league). He scored 4 goals with 6 assists and was plus-ten with 45 penalty minutes. Nilsson played in 12 games with Mora's U20 team, including 2 playoff games and had three assists. He represented Sweden in 10 international matches at the U19 and U20 levels but did not play in any world championship tournaments.

2012-13: Nilsson signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs in March of 2013 following his second season in Allsvenskan with Mora. He played 42 games for Mora and also played for Sweden's silver medal-winning squad at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Nilsson scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was -11 with 18 penalty minutes in Allsvenskan play, Mora finished eighth; missing the league playoffs. Nilsson had 2 assists and was +3 with 4 penalty minutes in six games at the WJC. Sweden lost to the USA, 3-1, in the gold medal game. Nilsson was loaned to Frolunda in Sweden's SHL in April of 2013 and will spend the 2013-14 season with the club.

 

Talent Analysis

Nilsson is a throwback, heavy body-checking, defensive defenseman who draws the ire of his opponents with his sometimes borderline legal, antagonistic play. Some scouts see elements of long-time NHL defenseman Ulf Samuelsson in his approach to the game, but he has not yet demonstrated the offensive elements and instincts that Samuelsson had. A right-handed shooting defenseman (somewhat rare among Europeans), Nilsson has a solid shot from the point.

 

Future

Nilsson will make his Swedish Hockey League (SHL) debut in 2013-14 as a member of Folunda. He is expected to join the Toronto Marlies in 2014-15. He has a contract in place with Frolunda until 2015-16 should the Maple Leafs decide to leave him in Sweden to develop.

 

 

Klingberg, Hagg tops among defensive prospects that competed in Sweden in 2013-14

by Chapin Landvogt
on

John Klingberg - Dallas Stars

Photo: Frolunda defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect John Klingberg has gotten a small taste of North American hockey the past couple of seasons, but will move to North America for the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Andrew Dieb/Icon SMI)

As the 2014 NHL Draft approaches, it is important to take note that the NHL is currently chock full of players hailing from Sweden. In particular, it would have been difficult to find many NHL rosters that lacked a Swede patrolling the blueline this past season.

Read more»

Toronto Maple Leafs have small group of prospects playing in college and Europe

by Chris Roberts
on

Teemu Hartikainen - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Forward Teemu Hartikainen was acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade on January 31st, 2014. Hartikainen spent the 2013-14 season in the KHL with Salavat Yulaev Ufa. (courtesy of ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO/AFP/Getty Images)

For the greater part of the last decade, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been reluctant to draft outside of the CHL in the first round. Sure, they selected NCAA-bound Tyler Biggs in 2011, but just a season later he was playing for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.

Read more»

Toronto Maple Leafs reaping benefits of good drafting and development

by John-Eric Iannicello
on

Spencer Abbott - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Forward Spencer Abbott has been a standout for the Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Abbott is in his second full season of professional hockey. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs strong start can be attributed to the depth they have accumulated over previous seasons. Under general manager Dave Nonis, the Maple Leafs continue to foster the development of their youth in hopes they will one day become NHL players.

Read more»

Sweden’s Fall proving as fruitful as ever for NHL prospects with an eye on the 2014 WJC

by Chapin Landvogt
on
Mattias Janmark-Nylen - Team Sweden

Photo: Detroit Red Wings forward prospect Mattias Janmark-Nylen (#24), shown here in action with Sweden at the 2013 Karjala Cup, has been scoring a a point-per-game clip for AIK this season (courtesy of Janerik Henriksson/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The first quarter of the Swedish Hockey League’s 2013-14 season has come and passed, and there’s plenty to be happy about in the scouting community. The number of young, recently drafted players currently dotting the rosters of both SHL and Allsvenskan (second highest men’s professional league in Sweden) clubs is about as impressive as ever, as professional teams continue to have little concern about going to battle with line-ups that often only feature an average age of 23-25.

Read more»

Youth movement expected to continue for Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013-14 season

by John-Eric Iannicello
on

Matt Finn - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Now in his fourth season of junior hockey, Matt Finn is expected to be a leader for the Guelph Storm on and off the ice. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

The AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Marlies, are expected to ice a very youthful lineup for the 2013-14 season, comprised mostly of players aged 23 and under. The Marlies will welcome eight players who make their rookie debuts in the AHL.

Read more»