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Anders Nilsson brings usual mask design to new home in Vancouver

Anders Nilsson brings usual mask design to new home in Vancouver

Anders Nilsson has found a mask design that he loves, and he’s sticking to it.

The giant Swedish netminder has boasted a sleek, simple design on all of his masks over the last few years, with classic sticks crossing the front of the mask to cut into a team-themed background full of eye-popping color and subtle details.

This year, he’s on to his fourth team in three years – but while his jersey may have changed, his design will remain the same:

In yet another installation of his “Soul” series with Swedish mask artist David Gunnarsson, Nilsson brings his classic hockey sticks to the Canucks color scheme as he moves back out west.

“Anders Nilsson’s first Vancouver Canucks mask is created in the same school as his previous mask styles?,” Gunnarsson wrote on Instagram. “The old school crossed hockey sticks creates the design, with a rollercoaster ride of detail works surrounding it.”

The details are certainly there, subtly incorporated using some of Gunnarsson’s best techniques. There’s the Lulea coat of arms on the side and the Tre Kronor design on the chin to pay tribute to his hometown and country, done in a pale white incorporated into the background, and a pair of Canucks logos on the side that seem to skate right onto the mask itself.

Add in some stick tape on the top and the chin to give the lid a classic 1970’s Canucks mask feel, and cover the entire thing with holographic Canucks logos to give it some dimension, and there’s plenty going on for what looks at first like a fairly simple design concept.

The sticks are done using a metallic glitter paint this year, keeping the design from looking too old-school, and the concept is complete.

Gunnarsson’s reveal of the mask doesn’t show the back, but expect Nilsson to boast a Pride flag on his backplate. The 2016 Buffalo Sabres netminder added the detail to his backplate last season, after getting involved in the league’s You Can Play initiative the year prior in Edmonton.

“I have a couple friends who are gay, and life hasn’t been easy for them growing up,” Nilsson told the Buffalo News when he revealed the mask in 2016, “It’s time that hockey starts to pay some attention to that.”

Nilsson made it clear at the time that he wanted to be the first player to put his inclusivity efforts straight onto his mask – so it won’t be surprising if he does that again this year.

For more of Gunnarsson’s mask work, check out his websiteTwitter feed, and Instagram account.

About The Author

Cat Silverman

Catherine is the first American in a long line of Canadians, making her the black sheep before she even decided she wasn't going to be a Leafs fan. Writer for Today's Slapshot, InGoal Magazine, and, coach in the Arizona Coyotes Department of Hockey Development. Goalies are not voodoo.