Since joining the Stars, Nill has dramatically re-shaped the team's culture and roster with a series of trades and acquisitions. He began to make his mark on the club with key acquisitions of centers Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza and three-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Sharp. After leading the team to regular-season Central Division and Western Conference championships in 2015-16, Nill was named a finalist for GM of the Year, marking his first career nomination. He would continue to add more pieces over the next few seasons, including trading for goaltender Ben Bishop and signing right wing Alexander Radulov, goaltender Anton Khudobin and center Joe Pavelski, leading to a highlight season for the Stars in 2019-20. Following the NHL's pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team traveled to the Edmonton bubble and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since the 2000-01 season and the fifth time in franchise history, ultimately losing in six games to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nill's accomplishments and roster building during the 2019-20 campaign was recognized, as he was named a finalist for GM of the Year for the second time in his career.
Nill has seen success in the drafting and development of players. Six players on the Stars roster were selected by Nill, including center Roope Hintz (2015), right wing Denis Gurianov (2015), defenseman Miro Heiskanen (2017), goaltender Jake Oettinger (2017), left wing Jason Robertson (2017) and center Jacob Peterson (2017). Keeping an eye on the future, Nill's scouting prowess has been on full display in recent years, through the additions of centers Ty Dellandrea and Riley Damiani in the 2018 NHL Draft - the latter going on to win the Red Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL's Rookie of the Year in 2020-21. Nill bolstered the club's blueline by selecting defenseman Thomas Harley (2019), who has already appeared in 34 NHL regular-season games, and added center Mavrik Bourque (2020), who finished the 2021-22 season with 68 points (20-48=68) in 31 games to lead the QMJHL with a 2.19 points-per-game average. Nill went on to add promising centers Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven in 2021. Johnston posted a 1.82 points-per-game average in 2021-22, finishing with an OHL-best 124 points (46-78=124) to win the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as the OHL's Top Scorer and earned the William Hanley Trophy as the OHL's Most Sportsmanlike Player. His 124 points are the most in the OHL since Alex DeBrincat earned 127 points in 2016-17 and are the fifth-most in Windsor Spitfires history. Stankoven, meanwhile, finished the 2021-22 campaign ranked third in the WHL with 104 points (45-59=104) in 59 games with Kamloops for a 1.76 points-per-game average and was named the CHL Player of the Year.
A native of Hanna, Alta., Nill joined the Red Wings' front office in the summer of 1994 following three seasons with the Ottawa Senators. Previously, Nill enjoyed a nine-season NHL career as a right wing with the Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets and Red Wings. He collected 58 goals, 87 assists and 854 penalty minutes in 524 regular-season games. Nill later went to Adirondack as a player/coach, retiring as a player after the 1990-91 season. A member of the 1979-80 Canadian National and Olympic teams, he was originally selected by the St. Louis Blues in the fifth round (89th overall) of the 1978 NHL Draft.
Jim and his wife, Rebecca, reside in Frisco, Texas, and have three children: Jenna, Trevor and Kristin, and three grandchildren: Cael, Hazel and Lincoln.