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Kent Nilsson

Born:Aug. 31, 1956Draft:1976 Calgary Flames 64th Overall
Hometown:Nynäshamn, SwedenPosition:Center
Known For:Stanley Cup ChampionShoots/Catches:Left
National Team:SwedenCurrent Status:Retired

Kent Åke “Kenta” Nilsson (born 31 August 1956) is a former Swedish professional ice hockey center. He played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) for the Winnipeg Jets and the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Atlanta and Calgary FlamesMinnesota North Stars, and Edmonton Oilers as teams across various European leagues.

During his NHL career, he was called “Mr. Magic” and “The Magic Man,” referring to his exceptional puck skills. Wayne Gretzky commented on Nilsson’s skills, saying, “Skills-wise, he might have been the most skilled hockey player I ever saw in my entire career.” In 2006, he was featured on HCZ, a Swedish reality show, as a coach for a hockey team of non-athletes.

He remains the Flames’ single-season record holder for points (131) and assists (82), both set during the 1980-81 season.

Kent Nilsson Calgary Flames
Kent Nilsson, Calgary Flames, Nov. 1983 (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

Kent Nilsson Statistics

Trade Tracker

DateTraded FromTraded ToTraded For
Mar. 2, 1987minnesota north stars Edmonton OilersFuture Considerations

Deeper Dive

Staff History

  • Edmonton Oilers – Scout (1992 – 2010)
  • EC Salzburg – Assistant Coach (2011-12)
  • Florida Panthers – Scout (2010 – 2020)


  • WHA Avco World Trophy (1978)
  • WHA Rookie of the Year – Lou Kaplan Trophy (1978)
  • WHA Avco World Trophy (1979)
  • WHA Most Gentlemanly Player – Paul Daneau Trophy (1979)
  • 2x NHL All-Star Game (1980, 1981)
  • NHL Best Swedish Player – Viking Award (1981)
  • NHL Stanley Cup Champion (1987)
  • Italy Champion (1988)
  • Elitserien Best Player – Guldpucken (1989)
  • Elitserien Champion (1989)
  • World Championship Silver Medal (1990)
  • IIHF Hall of Fame (2006)