He is currently working as a scout for the Florida Panthers, operating out of Europe.
Nilsson began his career in 1973–74, playing for Djurgårdens IF during his first of four seasons in Sweden. He then came to North America, and played for the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA beginning in 1977. He scored two consecutive 100-point seasons in the WHA; and his offensive production continued when the league merged with the NHL. He was claimed by the Atlanta Flames, and in his first season with the team he scored 93 points. The next season, 1980–81, Atlanta moved to Calgary; Nilsson scored 131 points, which is still the team record and he came third in NHL scoring.
Nilsson played with the Flames (with number 14) until 1984–85 when he was traded to the Minnesota North Stars for a draft pick that the Flames used to draft Joe Nieuwendyk. Nilsson won his first and only Stanley Cup while playing with the Edmonton Oilers in 1987. He returned to Europe after that season, playing in Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway. In 1988–89 he was named Player of the Year in Sweden. He returned to Edmonton for six games in 1995, which made him the last former Atlanta Flames player to play in the NHL. He then played briefly again in Europe until 1998.
- Won Lou Kaplan Trophy (WHA Rookie of the Year) (1978).
- Won Paul Daneau Trophy (WHA Most Gentlemanly Player) (1979).
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (1980, 1981).
- Member of the Swedish World All-Star Team (1985, 1989, 1990).
- 1986–87 - NHL - Stanley Cup (Edmonton)
- Named Swedish Player of the Year (1989).
- Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame (2006).
- Most points scored by a Swedish player in a single NHL season (131 in 1980–81)
- Calgary Flames team record for points in a single season (131 in 1980–81)
- Calgary Flames team record for assists in a single season (82 in 1980–81)
- Calgary Flames team record for shorthanded goals in a single season (9 in 1983–84)
Career statistics Edit
|1985–86||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||61||16||44||60||+4||10||5||1||4||5||+2||0|
|1986–87||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||44||13||33||46||+2||12||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- Played for Sweden in the 1973 European Junior Championships.
- Played for Sweden in the 1974 European Junior Championships.
- Played for Sweden in the 1975 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
- Played for Sweden in the 1976 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
- Played for Sweden in the 1981 Canada Cup.
- Played for Sweden in the 1984 Canada Cup.
- Played for Sweden in the 1985 World Ice Hockey Championships.
- Played for Sweden in the 1987 Canada Cup.
- Played for Sweden in the 1989 World Ice Hockey Championships.
- Played for Sweden in the 1990 World Ice Hockey Championships.
Nilsson has been married since 2005 to Swedish golfer Helen Alfredsson. He occasionally caddies for Helen in professional events. He is also the father of Robert Nilsson, a former Edmonton Oilers player.