April 11, 1958 |
Hanna, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Blues
|NHL Draft||89th overall, 1978
St. Louis Blues
Born in Hanna, Alberta, Nill played one season for the Drumheller Falcons of the AJHL in 1975, after which he played three seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WCHL. He was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round (89th overall) in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft.
The next season, he played with the University of Calgary before signing with the Canadian national team for 1979-80. Nill scored 32 points in 45 exhibition games before playing six games for Canada at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.
Jim Nill played 1 season for the Salt-Lake Golden Eagles of the CHL in 1980-81. He finally made his NHL debut in 1982 for St. Louis. He only played 1 season for the Blues before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks with Tony Currie, Rick Heinz and St. Louis' fourth round choice (Shawn Kilroy) in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft for Glen Hanlon on March 9, 1982. He helped the Canucks to the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals where they would lose to the New York Islanders 4-0. After 2 more seasons in Vancouver Nill was traded to the Boston Bruins for Peter McNab on February 3, 1984. He did not receive very much ice time in Boston and consequently the Bruins ended up trading him to the Winnipeg Jets for Morris Lukowich on February 4, 1985. He played nearly 4 years for Winnipeg, However they were not able to defeat the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers or the Calgary Flames. He was sent to the AHL's Moncton Hawks. He did not stay in New Brunswick long as Detroit Red Wings head coach Jacques Demers liked his tough style of play. He was traded to Detroit on January 11, 1988 for fellow journeyman NHLer Mark Kumpel. He played the final 3 years of his NHL career in Detroit with brief stints for the AHL's Adirondack Red Wings. In Adirondack he was a teammate of Sheldon Kennedy. He retired from hockey as a player after 1991.
After he retired as an active player he joined the scouting staff of the Ottawa Senators as Amateur scout. He was promoted to professional scout after only 2 years. He joined the Red Wings front office in the summer of 1994 following his 3-year stint with the Ottawa Senators.
Jim Nill's duties with Detroit included directing their amateur scouting and selections at the annual NHL Entry Draft. He had also served as the general manager of the Adirondack Red Wings.
Nill continued to oversee the development of the Red Wings' prospects that are currently assigned to Detroit's main affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, as well as those in the Canadian junior and European leagues.
In April 2013, he was hired as GM of the Dallas Stars. Nill immediately made several major transactions starting with trading a sixth round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft to the Ottawa Senators for Defensemen Sergei Gonchar and signed him a 2-year, $10-million dollar contract. On July 4, 2013 in a blockbuster trade, Nill sent 2011 NHL All-Star Loui Eriksson and prospects Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser to the Boston Bruins in exchange for the former 2nd overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft Tyler Seguin as well as Rich Peverley and Ryan Button. On the same day he traded prospect Philip Larsen and a seventh round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for their captain Shawn Horcoff.
On July 1, 2014, Nill traded for Ottawa Senators center and captain, Jason Spezza and right winger Ludwig Karlsson for Alex Chiasson, Nick Paul, Alex Guptill, and a second round pick in the 2015 NHL draft. On the same day, he also signed unrestricted free agent forward, Ales Hemsky to a 3-year, $12 million contract.
On July 10, 2015, Nill traded for forward Patrick Sharp and defensive prospect Stephen Johns from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. On July 15, 2015, Nill signed unrestricted free agent defenseman, Johnny Oduya to a 2-year $7.5 million contract.