Jacob Nilsson leaves Blackhawks, signs 2-year contract with Färjestad BK in SHL

Nilsson appeared in only two NHL games during the 2018-19 season, but was a solid contributor in the AHL.

Jacob Nilsson is following in Victor Ejdsell’s footsteps.

Nilsson is returning home to Sweden after signing a two-year contract with Fäjestad BK in the Swedish Hockey League on Sunday. The 26-year-old center played the past two seasons with the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, and only played in two NHL games during the 2018-19 season.

“Fäjestad has been at the top again in recent seasons and has something really exciting going on. It will be fun to be part of that journey,” Nilsson said in a statement.

Nilsson scored 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 61 AHL games during the 2018-19 season and was named the IceHogs most valuable player. He signed a one-year contract extension for $700,000 last April with hopes of making the Blackhawks’ NHL roster, but he remained in the AHL and had 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 62 games this season before the AHL suspended the season to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fäjestad sporting director Peter Jakobsson said Nilsson was been on the club’s rader before he moved to North America.

“A smart, skillful player of good age who is also a very good skater,” Jakobsson said of Nilsson. “He wants to go home and play in the national team again and it feels really good to have such a piece in place. He’ll be important in our team both in power play and boxplay [penalty kill].”

Nilsson is looking forward to reuniting with Ejdsell again.

“It’ll be great fun,” Nilsson said. “We met in Allsvenskan (Sweden’s second division) when Mora met Karlskoga, then we played together over [in Rockford]. Victor is one of the people I have been in contact with when Färjestad started to show interest.”

Ejdsell had one assist in six NHL games during the 2017-18 season and 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 66 AHL games in two seasons with the IceHogs before signing a two-year deal last year with Färjestad BK. Ejdsell scored 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists) in 45 SHL games this season.