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Ulf Gösta Nilsson (born May 11, 1950, in Nynäshamn, Sweden) is a former professional ice hockey player who played for the Winnipeg Jets, the New York Rangers, the Springfield Indians and the Tulsa Oilers. Part of the first major wave of Europeans to star in North American hockey, he was a major star in the WHA from 1974 to 1978. He scored at least 114 points in each of his four seasons in the upstart league, finishing third or fourth among overall scorers every time. He led the WHA with 85 assists in 1976–77, and tied Marc Tardif for the lead the next season with 89. Along with countryman Anders Hedberg, he played a starring role as the Jets won Avco Cup titles in 1976 and 1978. In the 1976 playoffs, he scored 26 points in just 13 games.
In the summer of 1978, Nilsson and Hedberg signed with the NHL's New York Rangers for $2.4 million, further weakening the struggling WHA which would cease operations after just one more season. Nilsson's NHL career was marred by injuries due to a hit by Dennis Potvin of the New York Islanders. He was limited to 160 games in his three full seasons with the Rangers, though he scored an impressive 163 points in that time. He scored 8 goals and 16 points in the 1980–81 playoffs as the Rangers advanced to the semi-finals before being eliminated by their cross-town rivals, the defending champion New York Islanders. He didn't play in the NHL during the 1981–82 season, but returned to the Rangers lineup for the final ten games the following year.
Awards and achievements Edit
- World Championship Silver Medalist (1973)
- World Championship Bronze Medalist (1974)
- WHA First All-Star Team (1976 & 1978)
- Playoff MVP (WHA) (1976)
- WHA Second All-Star Team (1977)
- Avco Cup (WHA) Championships (1976 & 1978)
- Played in the Canada Cup (1976 & 1981)
- Played in the Challenge Cup (1979)
- “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
Career statistics Edit
|1978–79||New York Rangers||NHL||59||27||39||66||21||2||0||0||0||2|
|1979–80||New York Rangers||NHL||50||14||44||58||20||9||0||6||6||2|
|1980–81||New York Rangers||NHL||51||14||25||39||42||14||8||8||16||23|
|1982–83||New York Rangers||NHL||10||2||4||6||2||--||--||--||--||--|