Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Has Anyone Seen Gustav Nyquist Lately?

Gustav Nyquist is a Swedish forward who has been highly touted in the Red Wings prospect system. He’s well known for playing at the University of Maine, helping the Grand Rapids Griffins win the Calder Cup last year, and inspiring a semi-religious movement. What you may not know about Nyquist, however, is that he was called up towards the end of November, and he’s been with the Red Wings ever since.

If that last piece of information eluded you, it would be understandable. With five goals and 11 points in 23 games played this year, Nyquist has been a let down to say the least.  There’s a number of potential reasons for this, particularly the injuries the Wings have faced this season. I happen to believe that if you are playing with Henrick freaking Zetterberg, however, much more is to be expected.

Instead of being the offensive solution everyone expected him to be, Nyquist has been largely overshadowed by Tomas Tatar this year. A former AHL all-star, Nyquist had been pointless in five games before collecting an assist in the embarrassingly lucky  victory over the Kings Saturday night. I’m certainly not the only person to notice this and one might be quick to point out that Martin St. Louis had more goals in one game than the entire Detroit Red Wings did in almost two weeks. This may be true, but Nyquist was also held off the scoreboard  in the 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars to start the month off.

Depth scoring has been an issue for this team all year, which seems to be the exact opposite of the team we saw in the playoffs last year. My ultimate desire for Nyquist is to have him on the third line with say, Helm or Andersson as a center and Tomas Tatar on the other wings. A third line like that would be deadly, and three scoring lines is incredibly difficult to defend against. Of course, this also requires the Wings to be healthy, but it also makes you wonder if a player with this much talent belongs on the third line.

I don’t know why Nyquist seems so snake-bitten this year. If the arguement is that he hasn’t played with Franzen/Datsyuk/whoever seems to help him score lately, then I’m concerned. Nyquist is supposed to be a player that’s talented enough to make plays on his own, rather than benefit from playing on the same line as superstars, unlike some other European wingers.  He’s supposed to be the guy that makes the team better, not the guy made better by the team. 

When the team isn’t scoring, I expect the Clearys and Millers of the world to struggle, but I players like Gustav Nyquist to step up. He was supposed to be the messiah this year after all.

Got something to add but can’t find time to comment? Find John on twitter @Jtevans0.

Tags: Detroit Red Wings Gustav Nyquist NHL

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  • David Clark

    Good point… I’ll trade you Ryan Miller, Mikhail Grigorenko and Luke Adam for Jimmy Howard, Anthony Mantha and Gustav Nyquist. I understand at first you may balk at this, but look at each player’s career numbers… and knowing that Ryan Miller would be inspired beyond belief playing for the Wings. He would be Vancouver Olympics Ryan Miller… not last place or missing the playoffs year after year in Buffalo Ryan Miller. I understand Mantha is a hot-commodity right now, but he’s not much different in talent than Grigo and Centers are naturally more valuable than wingers… especially Centers with size, even if they’re not overly physical. Miller is hands-down better than Howard (even when Howard is healthy), so you have compensate for that somewhere else in the package deal. And don’t give me the UFA status of Miller as an out, he would never walk away from being a Red Wing for the remainder of his career. You want a playoff run? Here is your ticket… take it or leave it? :)

    • John Evans

      I’m not sure I’m at the point of wanting to trade Nyquist, but since you brought it up, I’d point out that Ryan Miller’s wife is out in California (I think she’s an actress or something) so as far as I know he’s trying to do everything within his power to end up somewhere out west. As nice as that maybe with him playing with his brother in Detroit, I’m not sure he’d convince him to stay.

    • moorecha


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