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Nilson, Mair attend 2010 camp as tryouts

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Marcus Nilson is hoping to find a fit in New Jersey.
After two seasons abroad, Marcus Nilson is excited to be back in an NHL training camp.

The former Panthers’ first-round draft pick is attending Devils camp on a tryout, and hopes to find a fit in New Jersey.

“I just wanted to give it another shot to play in the League,” Nilson said Friday, when veterans reported for physicals. “If I did, I wanted to come to a good team and I heard too many good things about this organization, this team. It was an easy decision, I guess.”

Vets hit the ice for the first time on Saturday. Nilson’s planning a simple approach.

“I’m going to go out and play as hard as I can,” he said. “If I’m good enough to bring something to the team, great, if I’m not, I’m not. I’m not putting any pressure on myself or anything like that. Go out and have fun. It’s good. I’m excited to be at training camp.”

A winger, Nilson split a nine-year NHL career between Florida and Calgary before heading to Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL in 2008-09. He then skated for Djurgardens of the Swedish Elite League last year, racking up 24  goals and 27 assists in 53 games, and was a teammate of Devils’ prospect Jacob Josefson.

Nilson, 32, doesn’t think there’s much separating Josefson from an NHL roster spot.

“I think he’s really close,” he said. “He might even be ready. I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see. I think this organization is going to make a decision that’s good for him and his future too. He’s going to be a great player, I think, whether it’s this year or further down the road. He’s only 19.”

Adam Mair will also attend camp as a tryout.
Josefson was the Devils’ first-round pick in 2009.

“He’s good at both ends of ice and has good vision to make good plays,” said Nilson. “He works hard off the ice, on the ice. I think he’s going to be a good overall player.”

Nilson was a part of Calgary’s 2004 run to the Stanley Cup Finals, tallying four goals, seven assists in 26 playoff contests. That experience could be an asset for a team looking for a successful spring run.

“I guess once you’ve been in the playoffs a few times, it’s good to have that experience,” he said.

In 521 career games, Nilson has 67 goals, 101 assists for 168 points.

Center Adam Mair is also attending camp as a tryout. The 31-year-old spent the last seven seasons with Buffalo, where he collected six goals, eight assists for 14 points in 2009-10. Mair has 37 goals, 73 assists for 110 points in 550 games with Toronto, Los Angeles and Buffalo.

• Nilson wore No. 16 for his player headshot, Mair wore No. 11.
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