Mlive did a write up on Liam Dower Nilsson, selected this past draft at 134. On draft day, most of what I knew about LDN was that he was best friends with Simon Edvinsson. Apparently, during the scouting process, Draper and Yzerman interviewed players from the Swedish National Team that both draft picks played for (and where Liam served as captain). Apparently, one of the questions they ask is, “who, from this team, would you take to the NHL to be your linemate?” Apparently, most of the players responded saying Liam Dower Nilsson.
We’ve all heard stories, scouts getting close to fisticuffs in the late rounds of the draft. Part of it is job security. I mean, how many drafts will you be allowed to work if no one from your scouting report gets picked up? But, Hakan Andersson isn’t in any danger of losing his job. For him to get excited at 134 and pound the table, that says something. All of a sudden, a guy who was a late round add seems to have the respect of everyone he plays with and brings enough character to the table to wear the “C”.
The kid has moxie, for sure. He “views himself as a steal” in this draft. The fact that he grew up idolizing Zetterberg doesn’t hurt either. He’s a 2 way centerman that works hard on the defensive side of the puck. That came after responding to criticism, that he needed to be strong defensively. Dower Nilsson said, ““I worked really hard with my coach in Frolunda and also my teammates and agents helped me. I got that mindset that no coach should tell me after this year that I’m not good enough defensively to be a center.” (Quoted and posted from the Mlive article referenced above.)
So, why am I focused on a player who could well take 4 or 5 years to get to North America? Because he understands that. Everything about this young center is straight shooting. He knows it will take time and work. He’s determined to put in both. Slowly but surely, more centers are in the pipeline. Berggren is starting to get more accolades (not just from me). I really think Veleno will split his career between wing and center. But, Liam Dower Nilsson is going to develop as a center.
Again, unless he explodes this year, I would expect at least a couple seasons overseas. Set the oven timer for three years and we’ll see where he’s at. But, it is always interesting to see who Detroit’s go to European scout goes to bat for. Below I reposted some of the draft day clips and tweets.
Here is what I posted on draft day when we picked up LDN: