Hansson faces stiff competition in his quest for relevance but is worth keeping an eye on for those in deeper leagues.
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June 2022 – Heading overseas for the 2019-20 season, Hansson stayed in Europe through the pandemic and has now found himself playing in Switzerland. His elite offensive game has remained, and his overall game in Europe has improved to the point where he would be a prime candidate to return to the NHL. Now 27, he hasn’t yet committed to staying in Europe, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on a few NHL teams’ radars, however, consistently playing a top-pairing role close to home could be more appealing than returning to be a fringe NHLer. Aaron Itovitch
January 2017 – Hansson has played in 33 games for the Texas Stars, producing a goal and six assists. He played in just six games last year in the AHL, while being on loan to HV71 in the SHL. His development has bounced him around from different leagues but does possess talent if things ever begin to click in his game. He’s primarily been used in depth roles during his development. Matt Kowalski
March 2016 – The Stars have inked Hansson to a three-year, entry-level deal beginning in 2016-17. He will report to Texas in the coming week but will play the remainder of this year on an amateur tryout. The 2013 third-rounder had a standout first full season in the SHL registering seven goals and 15 assists in 44 games. These 22 points were good for 12th among SHL defensemen. In the early going Hansson was the best offensive D-man in the league firing at a point per game clip for the first 17 games of the season. But after injuring his shoulder and missing eight games, he was never able to regain the same level of offensive touch (perhaps not unexpectedly) racking up just five points in 27 games, and going pointless in six playoff games. Despite this second-half hiccup, it was still an extremely encouraging year of development for Hansson and obviously impressed Stars brass. Brad Phillips
December 2015 – Hansson has returned to the HV71 lineup after missing the past eight games with an injury. He has yet to record a point in his first two games back being eased back into the lineup, averaging 17 minutes per game. Brad Phillips
November 2015 – Hansson has been nothing short of a revelation this season. Through 17 games he has four goals and 13 assists (which included a stretch of seven points in three games!), good for second on his team behind ex-1st round pick Mattias Tedenby, while averaging just over 22 minutes a game. These numbers are good enough to place him in a tie for the lead in D-man scoring, and 19th overall in the SHL. Put this all together and the Stars may have Esa Lindell 2.0 on their hands. A recently sustained shoulder injury is the only thing that could slow him down and will keep him sidelined until December. Brad Phillips
August 2015 – Niklas Hansson is yet another offensively inclined defenceman in the Dallas system. He doesn’t possess ideal size for an NHL defenseman but is a strong skater and makes a good first pass. This past season he skated for Rogle BK in the Allsvenskan playing 47 games putting up two goals and 19 assists in the regular season making him the highest-scoring U20 defenseman in the league. He added one goal and three assists in another 10 playoff games. At the tender age of 19, Hansson also served as an Assistant Captain which speaks volumes about his leadership abilities. But it was far from a perfect season. After being somewhat of a surprise cut from the Swedish World Junior Championship team, he battled consistency issues resulting in a few benchings and reduced minutes during the second half of the season. After spending the last 5 seasons in the Rogle system, Hansson signed a two-year contract with HV71. While this won’t be his first experience in the SHL, it will be telling to see how he plays over a full season and should provide a better picture of the kind of player Hansson can be. – Brad Phillips