Swedish journeyman goaltender Anders Nilsson, a former World Champion with playing stints in Sweden, Russia, the United States and Canada, today announced his retirement from hockey at age 31, ending his career over recurring issues suffered from post-concussion syndrome and neck injuries.
A Luleå native, Nilsson joined the Luleå HF junior system in 2004, debuting for the senior team in 2008, spending three seasons with the Senior team. A third round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2009 NHL Draft, Nilsson joined the Islanders system in 2011, spending three seasons on the Island. Nilsson jumped to the KHL to join Ak Bars Kazan for the 2014-15 season, backstopping the Leopards to the Gagarin Cup finals, renewing interest in his talents back in the NHL. Nilsson returned to join the Edmonton Oilers in 2015, before being a trade deadline acquisition of St. Louis. Nilsson would join Buffalo for the 2016-17 season, spending just one year before joining Vancouver in 2017-18, playing with the Canucks for two seasons. A mid-season trade to Ottawa saw Nilsson spend his final season and a half with the Senators. In seven NHL seasons, Nilsson amassed a .907 save percentage in 161 career games, along with a .936 and 1.71 GAA in one KHL season (with a stellar .935 and 1.54 in the playoffs, respectively) and a .911 and 2.15 in four SHL seasons.
Debuting with the Under-16 Juniorkronorna squad in 2006, Nilsson made his major tournament debut at the 2010 World Juniors, capturing Bronze. He made his senior Tre Kronor debut at the 2011 World Championships, winning Silver, the first of four (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018) appearances. He would capture another Bronze in 2014, and would be the starter that led Sweden their eleventh World Title in 2018, winning Gold in his final international appearance.
Over the course of his career, Nilsson held the IHLC just three times, first coming at the 2014 Karjala Cup, followed by wins at the World Championships in 2015 and 2018. We wish Anders and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!