Kent Nilsson

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Kent Nilsson
Born (1956-08-31) 31 August 1956 (age 62)
Nynäshamn, Sweden
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Djurgårdens IF
AIK
Winnipeg Jets
Atlanta Flames
Calgary Flames
Minnesota North Stars
Edmonton Oilers
HC Bolzano
SC Langnau
EHC Kloten
EC Graz
Vålerengens IF
CH Majadahonda
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 64th overall, 1976
Atlanta Flames
WHA Draft 11th overall, 1976
Toronto Toros
Playing career 1976–1998

Kent Åke "Kenta" Nilsson (born 31 August 1956) is a Swedish retired professional ice hockey centre. He played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) for the Winnipeg Jets, and in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Atlanta and Calgary Flames, Minnesota North Stars and Edmonton Oilers, as well as teams across various European leagues. During his NHL career he was called "Mr. Magic" and "The Magic Man", referring to his exceptional puck skills. Wayne Gretzky commented on Nilsson's skills saying "Skills-wise he might have been the most skilled hockey player I ever saw in my entire career".[1] In 2006, he was featured on HCZ, a Swedish reality show as coach for a hockey team of non-athletes.

He is currently working as a European scout for the Florida Panthers.

Playing career[edit]

Nilsson began his career in 1973–74, playing for Djurgårdens IF during his first of four seasons in Sweden. He then came to North America, and played for the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association (WHA) beginning in 1977. He scored two consecutive 100-point seasons in the WHA, and his offensive production continued when the league merged with the NHL. He was claimed by the Atlanta Flames, and in his first season with the team he scored 93 points. The next season, 1980–81, the Flames moved to Calgary; Nilsson scored 131 points, which is still the team record, and he came third in NHL scoring.

Nilsson played with the Flames, wearing number 14, until 1984–85 when he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars for a draft pick that the Flames used to draft Joe Nieuwendyk. Nilsson won his first and only Stanley Cup while playing with the Edmonton Oilers in 1987. He returned to Europe after that season, playing in Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway. In 1988–89 he was named Player of the Year in Sweden. He returned to Edmonton for six games in 1995, which made him the last former Atlanta Flames player to play in the NHL. He then played briefly again in Europe until 1998.

Nilsson holds the NHL record for the quickest goal scored during a season-opening game, at ten seconds in, while playing for the North Stars versus the Quebec Nordiques on October 11th, 1986.[2]

Awards[edit]

Medal record
Representing  Sweden
Men's ice hockey
European Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 1974 Switzerland
Bronze medal – third place 1975 France
World Junior Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1975 Canada & USA
Bronze medal – third place 1980 Finland
Canada Cup
Silver medal – second place 1984 Canada
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1990 Switzerland

Records[edit]

  • Most points scored by a Swedish player in a single NHL season (131 in 1980–81)
  • Calgary Flames team record for points in a single season (131 in 1980–81)
  • Calgary Flames team record for assists in a single season (82 in 1980–81)
  • Calgary Flames team record for shorthanded goals in a single season (9 in 1983–84)
  • 6th fastest player in NHL history to score 300 points (215 GP) behind Wayne Gretzky (159), Mario Lemieux (186), Peter Stastny (186), Eric Lindros (210) & Cy Denneny (212)
  • 8th fastest player in NHL history to score 400 points (298 GP) behind Wayne Gretzky (197), Mario Lemieux (240), Peter Stastny (247), Eric Lindros (277), Mike Bossy (283), Sidney Crosby (292) & Bryan Trottier (296)
  • 9th fastest player in NHL history to score 500 points (372 GP) behind Wayne Gretzky (234), Mario Lemieux (287), Peter Stastny (322), Mike Bossy (349), Eric Lindros (352), Jari Kurri (356), Bryan Trottier (362) & Sidney Crosby (369)[4]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1973–74 Djurgårdens IF SWE 8 1 2 3 4 14 8 6 14 2
1974–75 Djurgårdens IF SWE 28 13 12 25 14
1975–76 Djurgårdens IF SEL 36 28 26 54 10
1976–77 AIK SEL 36 30 19 49 18
1977–78 Winnipeg Jets WHA 80 42 65 107 8 9 2 8 10 10
1978–79 Winnipeg Jets WHA 78 39 68 107 8 10 3 11 14 4
1979–80 Atlanta Flames NHL 80 40 53 93 10 4 0 0 0 2
1980–81 Calgary Flames NHL 80 49 82 131 26 14 3 9 12 2
1981–82 Calgary Flames NHL 41 26 29 55 8 3 0 3 3 2
1982–83 Calgary Flames NHL 80 46 58 104 10 9 1 11 12 2
1983–84 Calgary Flames NHL 67 31 49 80 22
1984–85 Calgary Flames NHL 77 37 62 99 14 3 0 1 1 0
1985–86 Minnesota North Stars NHL 61 16 44 60 10 5 1 4 5 0
1986–87 Minnesota North Stars NHL 44 13 33 46 12
1986–87 Edmonton Oilers NHL 17 5 12 17 4 21 6 13 19 6
1987–88 HC Bolzano ITA 35 60 72 132 48 8 14 14 28
1987–88 SC Langnau NDA 2 2 0 2
1988–89 Djurgårdens IF SEL 35 21 21 42 36 1 0 1 1 0
1989–90 EHC Kloten NDA 36 21 19 40 5 4 5 9
1990–91 EHC Kloten NDA 33 37 39 76 8 3 8 11
1991–92 EHC Kloten NDA 17 11 14 25 8 2 0 0 0 2
1992–93 Djurgårdens IF SEL 40 11 20 31 20 6 2 3 5 0
1993–94 EC Graz Alpenliga 30 15 33 48
1993–94 EC Graz AUT 27 8 9 17
1994–95 Vålerengens IF NOR 6 1 1 2 8
1994–95 Edmonton Oilers NHL 6 1 0 1 0
1995–96 Nynäshamns IF SWE III 2 2 3 5 6
1997–98 CH Majadahonda ESP 6 8 12 20 2 3 8 11
SEL totals 147 90 86 176 84 7 2 4 6 0
WHA totals 158 81 133 214 16 19 5 19 24 14
NHL totals 553 264 422 686 116 59 11 41 52 14

International[edit]

Year Team Comp   GP G A Pts PIM
1974 Sweden EJC 5 8 7 15 2
1975 Sweden WJC 6 3 3 6
1975 Sweden EJC 5 5 5 10 0
1976 Sweden WJC 4 1 3 4 2
1981 Sweden CC 5 0 2 2 4
1984 Sweden CC 8 3 8 11 4
1985 Sweden WC 8 6 5 11 6
1987 Sweden CC 6 0 4 4 4
1989 Sweden WC 10 3 11 14 0
1990 Sweden WC 10 10 2 12 6
Junior totals 20 17 18 35
Senior totals 47 22 32 52 24

Family[edit]

Nilsson has been married since 2005 to Swedish golfer Helen Alfredsson. He occasionally caddies for her in professional events. He is also the father of Robert Nilsson, a former Edmonton Oilers player, from an earlier marriage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Top 10: Most Skilled Hockey Players
  2. ^ "TSN Hockey's Need To Know: Season Opening Statistics - Article - TSN". TSN. 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2017-10-04.
  3. ^ WHA Hall of Fame Members
  4. ^ "Hockey Summary Project". Hsp.flyershistory.com. Retrieved 2012-03-07.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bo Berglund
Golden Puck
1989
Succeeded by
Rolf Ridderwall