Part of me is hestitant to put him on this list. Look, he’s screwed on this roster for two reasons: one, the management team wants more grit up front and two there are just so many forwards ahead of him with a somewhat similar skill set.
O’Sullivan, Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson. That’s probably the order without a trade and Roberto is likely left out in the cold.
He has talent.
07-08 5×5 per 60m: 2.37
08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.22
07-08 5×4 per 60m: 2.66
08-09 5×4 per 60m: 4.59
Robert Nilsson spent 810 minutes on the ice at even-strength in 08-09 and delivered 5-13-18. In 07-08, Nilsson spent 820 minutes on the ice at even-strength and delivered 7-26-33. We can place some blame on puck luck, the breakup of the kid line and anything else you want to throw into the discussion but the bottom line is that it probably cost him his career with this organization.
Nilsson’s cap hit is 2M for the next two years (actual dollars 2M and then 2.5M) and he’ll be an RFA in the summer of 2012. In terms of trade value I’g guess a 3rd round pick based on the fact that the team that is trading for him is getting a 2M forward with an uneven resume.
I think someone will take a chance on him. A team looking for forwards who might be undervalued, a team perhaps looking to get to the salary floor without giving up too much in assets. Nilsson is a guy who could make the Oilers look silly if he gets into a good situation with another club. He’s averaged just under 40 points per 82 NHL games and he’s played in 192 NHL games (he’s 24).
The Houston Astros of the early 1970′s taught us that when an organization has a lot of players who have similar skills, other teams have a really good chance of plucking one of them for a low, low price. Robert Nilsson probably isn’t John Mayberry or Cliff Johnson, but he might be Mike Easler and he had a career too.