Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Kent Nilsson
As a kid, Nilsson would shoot the puck at his father's garage until he was exhausted. He cherished a dream to become a great hockey forward. He began his career with Stockholm's Djurgarden and then played for AIK. From 1973 to 1977, Nilsson, or "Kenta," as the fans nicknamed him, played 122 games for the two teams, scoring 80 goals and getting 66 assists, only hinting at what was to come.

In the 1977-78 season, he made his debut with the WHA's Winnipeg Jets and earned 107 points, 42 goals and 65 assists in 80 games. He earned the same total the next season 39 goals and 68 assists in 78 games.

Afterwards, Nilsson moved to the NHL, where he played with the Flames for six seasons. In 1980-81, he scored 49 goals and made 82 assists, earning 131 points and achieving third spot in the league after Wayne Gretzky and Marcel Dionne. In 1987, while Nilsson was with the Edmonton Oilers, the team won the Stanley Cup, marking the peak of his success.

In his later NHL years, Nilsson played for the Minnesota North Stars and the Edmonton Oilers, but his game wasn't as good as it had been, so he went to Europe, joining Bolzano in Italy. In the 1987-88 season, he scored 74 goals and made 86 assists. He went on to play for Lugano and Kloten in Switzerland, Austria's Graz and Norway's Valerengen.

After his remarkable hockey odyssey, Nilsson could claim some unprecedented achievements: He had been a WHA champion, Stanley Cup winner and champion of Switzerland and Italy. It seems he earned countless points during his career. In the NHL alone, he played 553 games and scored 264 goals. But Nilsson kept track of his personal statistics: He played 1,095 games, scored 621 goals, made 864 passes and had 236 penalty minutes.

These days, Nilsson is often seen in the crowd at Stockholm's Globe Arena. An alert and discriminating spectator, he watches the games intently as the Edmonton Oilers' European scout.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1973-74 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden 8 1 2 3 4 14 8 6 14 2
1973-74 Sweden EJC-A 5 8 7 15 2
1974-75 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden 28 13 12 25 14
1974-75 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden-Q 6 7 3 10 4
1974-75 Sweden WJC-A 6 3 3 6
1974-75 Sweden EJC-A 5 5 5 10 0
1975-76 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden 36 28 26 54 10
1975-76 Sweden Nat-Tm 5 0 0 0 0
1975-76 Sweden WJC-A 4 1 3 4 2
1976-77 AIK Solna Sweden 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 -3 4 0 0 0 2
1980-81 Calgary Flames NHL 80 49 82 131 26 +15 14 3 9 12 2
1981-82 Sweden Can-Cup 5 0 2 2 4
1981-82 Calgary Flames NHL 41 26 29 55 8 -20 3 0 3 3 2
1982-83 Calgary Flames NHL 80 46 58 104 10 +5 9 1 11 12 2
1983-84 Calgary Flames NHL 67 31 49 80 22 -24
1984-85 Sweden Can-Cup 8 3 8 11 4
1984-85 Calgary Flames NHL 77 37 62 99 14 -4 3 0 1 1 0
1984-85 Sweden WEC-A 8 6 5 11 6
1985-86 Minnesota North Stars NHL 61 16 44 60 10 +4 5 1 4 5 0
1986-87 Minnesota North Stars NHL 44 13 33 46 12 +2
1986-87 Edmonton Oilers NHL 17 5 12 17 4 +10 21 6 13 19 6
1987-88 Sweden Can-Cup 6 0 4 4 4
1987-88 HC Bolzano Italy 35 60 72 132 48 8 14 14 28
1987-88 SC Langnau Swiss 2 2 0 2
1988-89 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden 35 21 21 42 36 1 0 1 1 0
1988-89 Sweden WEC-A 10 3 11 14 0
1989-90 EHC Kloten Swiss 36 21 19 40 5 4 5 9
1989-90 Sweden WEC-A 10 10 2 12 6
1990-91 EHC Kloten Swiss 33 37 39 76 8 3 8 11
1991-92 EHC Kloten Swiss 17 11 14 25 8 2 0 0 0 2
1992-93 Djurgardens IF Stockholm Sweden 40 11 20 31 20 6 2 3 5 0
1993-94 EC Graz Alpenliga 30 15 33 48
1993-94 EC Graz Austria 27 8 9 17
1994-95 Valerengen IF Oslo Norway 6 1 1 2 8
1994-95 Edmonton Oilers NHL 6 1 0 1 0 -5
1995-96 Nynashamns IF Sweden-3 2 2 3 5 6
1996-97
1997-98 CH Majadahonda Spain 6 8 12 20 2 3 8 11
NHL Totals 553 264 422 686 116 59 11 41 52 14


Lou Kaplan Trophy (Rookie of the Year - WHA) (1978)
Paul Deneau Trophy (Most Gentlemanly Player - WHA) (1979)
Swedish World All-Star Team (1985, 1989, 1990)
Swedish Player of the Year (1989) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1980, 1981)
Signed as a free agent by Winnipeg (WHA), July 29, 1977. Reclaimed by Atlanta from Winnipeg prior to Expansion Draft, June 9, 1979. Transferred to Calgary after Atlanta franchise relocated, June 24, 1980. Traded to Minnesota by Calgary with Calgary's 3rd round choice (Brad Turner) in 1986 Entry Draft for Minnesota's 2nd round choice (Joe Nieuwendyk) in 1985 Entry Draft and 2nd round choice (Stephane Matteau) in 1987 Entry Draft, June 15, 1985. Traded to Edmonton by Minnesota for cash, March 2, 1987. Signed as a free agent by Edmonton, January 26, 1995.