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.

 

 

Toronto Maple Leafs have decent depth at European and NCAA levels

by John-Eric Iannicello
on

North Dakota v Minnesota

Photo: Defenseman Andrew MacWilliam recently signed an entry-level deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. MacWilliam spent the season playing for North Dakota. (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

The Maple Leafs have several prospects playing at the NCAA and European level. Tony Cameranesi boasts the most impressive season out of any NCAA prospect, while a strong performance from Swedish defenseman Tom Nilsson has earned him an entry-level deal with the Maple Leafs. All three of the Maple Leafs European prospects are Swedish.

Read more»

Morgan Rielly continues reign as Toronto Maple Leafs top prospect

by John-Eric Iannicello
on

Morgan Rielly - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Defenseman Morgan Rielly maintains his spot as the top prospect for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Rielly was selected 5th overall by the Leafs in 2012. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)

The shortened 2012-13 NHL campaign has seen the Toronto Maple Leafs use a number of developed players throughout the season. Eight players who are 26 years old or younger, have suited up for the Maple Leafs this season – all of them playing vital roles for the Toronto Marlies earlier this season . This is a testament to the process the Maple Leafs have implemented in recent years to develop and promote more prospects.

Read more»

Video: 2013 World Junior Championship – Filip Forsberg and Tom Nilsson, Sweden

by Chapin Landvogt
on

Tom Nilsson - Sweden

Photo: Swedish defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Tom Nilsson has previously competed internationally for his country, but this is his first time playing at the U-20 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

For Sweden's Filip Forsberg, the 2013 World Junior Championship provides a chance to cement the idea that Sweden has arrived as a hockey power at the junior level. Forsberg was a part of his country's gold medal squad at the 2012 World Juniors, with his performance at that tournament no doubt helping to solidify his stock for the 2012 NHL Draft.

Read more»

Defensive prospects an area of strength for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system

by John-Eric Iannicello
on

Carter Ashton - Toronto Maple Leafs

Photo: Carter Ashton is just one of a handful of young forwards the Maple Leafs have acquired over the past two years. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

The additions of defensemen Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn at the 2012 NHL Draft have bolstered what was once a weak point in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ system. They are added to a list of names such as Korbinian Holzer, Jesse Blacker, Stuart Percy, and Petter Granberg that are in the fold currently. Each player offers a different dynamic that should complement the team’s defensive core if they continue to progress in their development.

Read more»