Andrew Nielsen

by Brian Harling on December 8, 2017

Andrew Nielsen, D

Shoots: R

Height: 6-3

Weight: 207

Born: 1996-11-13

Hometown: Red Deer, AB

Drafted: 2015 by Toronto Maple Leafs (65th Overall)








December 2017 - Nielsen came to the Marlies with very high expectations for a 2015 third round pick. In his first rookie season, 2016-17, (he played some playoff games in the 2015-16 season), he looked very promising on the offensive side of his game  but his defensive play was a bit weak. He was solid with 14 goals and 25 assists with the Marlies in 74 games. I had seen him as a no-brainer to make the Leafs. His skating is decent as is his size 6'3" 203 pounds. While he has decent size he does not play an aggressive game. He has a booming shot from the point and can be especially effective on the power play but he has had a set back this year in 20 games he has no goals and only eight assists. His defensive play has improved this year and it would appear that management has asked him to focus on the defensive side of his game. With the addition of Borgman and Rosen, the development of Dermott and drafting of Liljegren, he has slipped significantly on the depth chart. Making the NHL is still a possibility but he will need at least another year or two of development in the AHL. Brian Harling

April 2016 – After a solid regular season for the large defender, Lethbridge bowed out of the Western Hockey League playoffs early. Nielsen completed the junior year producing points at the same almost point-per-game rate as he started that was good enough for third amongst defensemen, what makes that more impressive is that he posted 122 PIM which put him in a tie for tops amongst WHL rearguards. His huge year may not be complete, he has been assigned to the Marlies of the AHL and is expected to dress in a couple games to see where he situated in the pro game. He has the looks of a nice all-encompassing statistical blueliner that mangers should take note of and monitor. Jason Banks


November 2015 – Shortly after his 19th birthday, Nielsen signed his standard, three year entry-level contract. He had an excellent camp with the Leafs after being drafted early third round in the spring. Since starting the year in Lethbridge of the WHL, the large defender has rode a wave of confidence that has helped him accumulate 25 points as many games thus far, good enough to tie for second place of Western Hockey League defenders. Although he is amongst and above expected World Junior invitees, Hayden Fleury, Travis Sanheim and Joe Hicketts, it would be a surprise to see Nielsen called upon for the post-Christmas tournament. The outlook is rather positive for the Red Deer native as he already possesses an attractive NHL size and therefore be given an opportunity more hastily than normal. His tool bag contains all the requirements needed for a solid pro including: a solid shot, defensive/transitional awareness, vision and good first pass ability. Jason Banks


Fantasy Outlook: B


He is a large multi-tool defenseman that should see himself in a mid-pairing, minute eating role that should provide average statistics upon his arrival in a few years.




Nielsen displays his booming shot in the 2015 rookie camp:



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