This is the fifth in a series of in-depth profiles covering each member of the Colorado Avalanche 2020 draft class. The entire series can be foundHERE.
The international man of mystery version in the Avalanche’s 2020 draft class is one Nils Åman selected at 167th overall in the sixth round. The now 21-year old Swede is a left shot center who stands at 6-foot-2 and 179lbs. He was considered a draft overager in his third time through the selection process as a February 2000 born player.
A successful final year with 47 points in 30 games in the J-20 (Swedish juniors) league saw Åman find himself ranked on a couple draft publications including at #38 on NHL Central Scouting’s European skaters list for the 2020 draft. Therefore it was not entirely a surprise that Åman found himself claimed by a NHL club in his final year of draft eligibility.
This first look is more of a last look as Åman has played his entire 2020-21 season already with Leksands IF in the SHL, his first full season at the men’s level. In 51 games he posted 10 points with two goals. A three point explosion occurred in the last game of the regular season to bring Åman to those point totals. Leksands is third in the SHL standings and is poised to have a lengthy playoff run when it gets underway.
Åman spent the season playing in mainly a third line role. He also contributed on the left wing and in a pinch up in the lineup. Åman is a good skater especially for his size and plays a dependable defensive game. Here is an example of Åman’s speed and playmaking skill.
— Anton (@antonj85) February 6, 2021
It seems the thinking from the Avalanche’s perspective is to get an older polished and professionally seasoned player out of a late round draft pick who would be a lot closer to ready to sign in North America and compete in a depth role not unlike Anton Lindholm before him. However like Lindholm the ceiling and potential for meaningful contributions are relatively low. There’s always a need for center depth in an organization so the chance is there for an opportunity in the AHL lineup and a move to Colorado.