The Isles' 21-year-old goaltender has a clause in his entry-level deal that allows him to return to Sweden if he desires. With the possibility of Nilsson, Kevin Poulin and Mikko Koskinen jockeying for playing time at Bridgeport, returning to Lulea of the Swedish Elite League might seem appealing.
Not to Nilsson.
"My only focus is to stay here and compete for a job," Nilsson said after the Isles' practice on Wednesday. "I don't have any thoughts about going back. I want to stay here and if it doesn't work out, then I'm going to go to Bridgeport and do my best to get back to the Islanders."
Nilsson, the third-round pick in 2009, allowed four goals in 20 minutes against the Bruins on Friday but overall is solidly behind Poulin on the rookie goaltender depth chart, and ahead of Koskinen. Nilsson staying would mean it's likely that the Isles would search for an East Coast league team to take Koskinen on loan so the kids could get enough playing time.
And there would certainly be some competition between Poulin and Nilsson at Bridgeport to be ready if the Islanders need a goalie. And history tells us that the Islanders usually need a goalie call-up.
"They had six guys play here last year," Nilsson said. "That means you have to be ready."