Detroit Selects Center Liam Dower Nilsson with the 134th Pick Overall
Date of Birth: April 14, 2003
Place of Birth: Goteborg, SWE
#27 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)
After focusing on the back end during the first part of the draft, the Red Wings took their third straight forward and second straight center with the sixth pick of the fifth round (#134 Overall). Nilsson checks a lot of the boxes that Yzerman and the Red Wings look for: smart, two-way play, good vision, solid passing, is Swedish and plays for Frolunda. Here is what Elite Prospects has to say about him:
“He is a playmaker, a passer, a set-up man, the player who feeds you the puck through three layers of defence right on your tape at the goal-mouth and the quarterback of your power play. Dower-Nilsson never reveals the position of his intended outlet. He scans the ice once to locate it and then looks away, only tracking its progress in his peripheral vision.” -EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide
I was able to find a highlight video from a J18 Elite game back in October of 2019 that he played it. Judging by the score his team was far superior to their opponent that night but his playmaking and vision are obvious (even with the poor camera angle), especially with the first highlight.
Like most of the picks for Detroit this year Nilsson is a bit of a project with a really solid upside who is going to need a few years of solid development to reach his potential and play in the NHL, which right now feels like a bottom 6 center who could see some power play time.