Oilers Trade for Goaltender Anders Nilsson


The Edmonton Oilers made a trade on Monday afternoon, acquiring goaltending prospect Anders Nilsson from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Liam Coughlin.

Nilsson, 25, will have to battle for a spot with the Oilers, who recently traded for New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot. Nilsson went 20-9-8 with a goals against average of 1.71 with the Kazan Ak-Bars for 38 games in the Kontinental Hockey League this past season.

Chicago themselves are pretty stacked at goaltender, enough so that they traded their third goalie Anti Raanta to the Rangers earlier in the off season. Nilsson more than would have begun next season in the American Hockey League with the Rockford Ice Hogs, since the Hawks have both Corey Crawford and Scott Darling.

Nilsson does have some NHL experience with the New York Islanders. In 23 career games, his goals against average is 3.05 and he posted a record of 9-9-0. He was a third round selection by the Islanders in 2009. Chicago acquired him from the Islanders in 2014.

Now it appears Nilsson could have a chance to fight for a spot on the Oilers roster, but he will likely go to the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors.

Hockey’s Future had this to say about Nilsson:

"A huge goaltender that is technically skilled. Nilsson has good hockey smarts plays with calmness and has good mental strength. Challenges the shooters and has been very consistent during his career, rarely having bad games. Furthermore, he is athletic and quite agile."

Coughlin is 20 years old and he put up 60 points in the British Columbia Hockey League last season with the Vernon Vipers. He has 105 points in 107 career games with the Vipers, and he was a fifth round pick by the Oilers in the 2014 NHL entry draft.

Hockey’s Future said this about Coughlin:

"Coughlin is a project-type prospect at this point but has a big body and is not afraid to get involved in some tough battles, He is an average to above-average puck mover and needs a bit of work in the skating department. Now in his second season in the BCHL after playing high school hockey in Massachusetts, he will have time to develop physically, improve his technical skills and refine his positional game during his college career.Coughlin is in his second with the Vernon Vipers in 2014-15 and in October 2014 he announced that he was changing his college commitment and will play at the University of Vermont in 2015-16. He was the leading scorer for Vernon as the Vipers finished second to Penticton in the Interior Division. As with most late round, overage draft picks, Coughlin is a work in progress at this point and it is difficult to forecast his NHL potential until he has played at the college level."

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