Intelligent, quick and responsible center with upside as a middle-six forward if his puck skills continue to improve.
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June 2023 – Nilsson was selected 43rd overall by the Predators. Pat Quinn
April 2023 – Nilsson has a lot of very valuable traits that NHL scouts covet; he is smart in all three zones, responsible defensively, reliable on the breakout and in transition, and has quick feet. He keeps his stick ready and his head on a swivel, reading his surroundings as he goes and adjusting his positioning to either stifle threats defensively, or identify pressure outlets offensively. He exploits breaches very well, attacking defenders’ feet if he senses a moment’s hesitation and rushing into openings in the slot when an opponent makes a mistake.
Overall, Nilsson’s puck skills need to improve if he wants to establish himself as an offensive presence; his brain gets him a lot of opportunities that his hands can’t convert. If his passing, handling and shooting can even reach a slightly above-average level, you’re looking at a middle-six NHLer. It’s a tall task, though, so expect him to remain in the second- to third-round range. Hadi Kalakeche