2020-21 Team: Frölunda HC
Date of Birth: April 14, 2003
Place of Birth: Göteborg, Sweden
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 176 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 27th (Amongst EU Skaters)
- Elite Prospects: 54th
- FCHockey: 99th
- McKeen’s Hockey: 48th
- Smaht Scouting: 60th
- Dobber Prospects: 43rd
- Zator’s Top 100 for April: 95th
- Forbes’ Top 125 for May: 79th
- Baracchini’s Top 100 March Rankings: 63rd
Liam Dower-Nilsson hails from the town of Göteborg, Sweden, where the likes of John Klingberg, Robin Lehner, Lucas Raymond and Ottawa Senators legend Daniel Alfredsson are born. Although there are some big names to live up to in his hometown, Dower Nilsson has made it his mission to get to the NHL.
Related: 2021 THW NHL Draft Guide
Dower-Nilsson has grown up in the Frölunda HC program, where he has thrived as a two-way centre, making a name for himself in the system. Over the last few seasons, he has bounced around between the J18 and J20 leagues, where he has had a good showing. In the 2019-20 regular season, he suited up for Frölunda in the J18 Elit League and put home 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 15 games, turning some heads. That year, Dower-Nilsson represented Team Sweden at the Under-17 World Hockey Championships, where he had two points (one goal, one assist) in five games.
Throughout the 2020-21 regular season, Dower-Nilsson once again bounced around between various men’s and junior leagues. Most notably, he played with Frölunda in the J20 Nationell League, where he put up 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 16 games. He had an impressive showing and even managed to get a call up to play in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), where he suited up for five games with Frölunda.
Dower-Nilsson was named captain for Team Sweden at the 2021 WJC-18 tournament this past April and May. Sweden was a powerhouse once again this year, loaded with the likes of Fabian Lysell, Isak Rosén, William Strömgren and Simon Edvinsson. One thing to note about Dower-Nilsson’s game is he is an emotional player, as he will act on emotion, thus resulting in unnecessary penalties. That was the case on April 29 against Switzerland, where he was assessed a match penalty for “pulling hair, helmet and, cage.” Discipline is something that he will need to work on moving forward. He finished the tournament with four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games, helping contribute to a second straight Bronze medal.
One of the most notable skills that Dower-Nilsson has is his transition game. He is able to play at all three levels of the game, as he is a pure threat. His passing is sound, as he is able to get long-range passes up the ice with ease and is able to find open teammates without turning the puck over. A solid two-way centre with a high hockey IQ, Dower-Nilsson has all the attributes to become a bottom-six forward and a special teams contributor in his future.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Liam Dower-Nilsson – NHL Draft Projection
While he does have some work to do over the course of the next few years in his development, Dower-Nilsson should be taken in the late second round to early third round.
“Another game, and another point for the Swedish captain Dower Nilsson. He is a smart, two-way center in the starting line for Sweden and he contributes all over the ice. In his own end, he is smart player that helps out his defenders around his own net and behind his own goal if needed. He has good positioning and does not often get overplayed.” – Fredrik Haak, FCHockey
“Dower Nilsson gets a 10/10 for effort in his game. He’s constantly trying to do the right things, but his ability sometimes doesn’t allow for it. His playmaking is the highlight of his game. He has an excellent knack for dishing the puck out, finding his teammates, and if he doesn’t have the puck, he’s looking for the open ice to support them.” – Josh Bell, FCHockey
“Sweden´s captain and top center, Dower-Nilsson is a smart two-way pivot who makes excellent reads in all three zones. He’s a creative thinker in the offensive zone, and that skill informed his ability to produce well in both the junior league and in the Hockeyettan (the third-tier senior league). He lacks a bit in speed and strength but makes up for it with his brain.” – Jimmy Hamrin, EP Rinkside 2021
- High Hockey IQ
- Strong Two-Way game
Under Construction- (Improvements to Make)
Dower-Nilsson has the skillset to become a fluent bottom-six forward and power-play specialist in the NHL.
Risk- 2/5, Reward 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense- 7/10, Defense 6/10
- 2017/2018 – U16 SM Silver Medal
- 2018/2019 – J18 SM Gold Medal , TV-Pucken Gold Medal , U16 SM Best Forward , U16 SM Gold Medal , U16 SM Most Goals (12)
- 2020/2021 – U18 WJC Bronze Medal, U18 WJC Most Penalized Player (31)