Kent Nilsson inducted into IIHF Hall of Fame
Nilsson, who has been a member of the Oilers' scouting staff since the 1994-95 season, is one of four players to be inducted this year. He will enter the IIHF Hall of Fame along side former players Vladimir Petrov (Russia), Juhani Wahlsten (Finland) and Henry Gruth (Poland) as well as two members entering the builder's category – Shoichi Tomita of Japan and Anatoli Khorozov of the Ukraine.
Nilsson spent nine seasons in the NHL with Edmonton, Calgary and Minnesota from 1979-80 to 1986-87 and 1994-95. He scored 264-422-686 with 116 PIM in 553 career regular season games and added 11-41-52 in 59 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
He joined the Oilers in a trade from Minnesota on March 2, 1987 and was a member of the Oilers 1987 Stanley Cup championship team. He scored 5-12-17 in 17 regular season games following the trade and finished fifth on the Oilers in playoff scoring with 6-13-19 in 21 post-season games.
After the Stanley Cup victory, Nilsson returned to Europe, where he played seven seasons in Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Norway. Along the way he won an Italian championship with Bolzano in 1988.
He rejoined the Oilers in 1994-95, signing a one-year contract with the team on January 26, 1995. He played six more games with Edmonton and scored one goal before announcing his retirement on March 14, 1995.
Nilsson played for Sweden's National Junior team from 1973 to 1976, helping his home country win the gold medal in 1974. He tied for the tournament scoring title that season. With the Swedish National Team, Nilsson played in three Canada Cups and three IIHF World Championships, earning a silver medal in 1990.
After three seasons in the Swedish Elite League with Djurgardens IF and AIK, he made his North American hockey debut with the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association in 1977-78. He was a member of two AVCO Cup championship teams with the Jets and was named the WHA's Rookie of the Year in 1978 and the league's most gentlemanly player in 1979.
Nilsson began his NHL career with the Atlanta Flames in 1979-80 and appeared in two NHL All-Star Games during his nine seasons in the NHL.