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Player Grades: Gustav Nyquist

It was a season of highs and lows for Goose

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Player Info

Born: September 1, 1989, Halmstad, SWE

Ht/Wt: 5’11”, 184lbs

Position: RW

Seasons With Team: 6 (signed through 2018/19 with $4.75 AAV)

What He Did vs. Expectations

It’s hard to believe that Nyquist has been a Red Wing for 6 seasons. I remember when he was a Hobey Baker Award finalist coming out of Maine and his potential seemed limitless.

Following a career low in goals (17) and points (43) in 2015/16, I was cautiously optimistic that Gustav Nyquist would have a bounce-back season. Why, you ask? Because he is a core member of this Red Wings team and once upon a time, we expected him and Tomas Tatar to the carry the torch of Datsyuk and Zetterberg. In addition, I expected that he would find success having had a year to get re-used to Jeff Blashill’s coaching style.

Nyquist’s season was kind of a mixed bag of highs and lows. He hit a career high in assists (36) and a career low in goals (12). He was also somewhat shockingly left off Sweden’s roster for the World Cup of Hockey, despite having success representing Sweden in the past.

His season started off slow, with only four goals in 28 games but it picked up considerably in the second half. While his overall lack of scoring may be troubling, Nyquist and Blashill have pointed to this level of production as a return to his roots as a passer instead of a goal scorer.

Racking up more assists than goals (10) is something of a return to his younger form.

“The first couple of years up here, I had more goals than assists, but previously, in college, I always had more assists and was more of a passer,” he said. “Obviously, I still would have liked to score more goals, for sure. I am not pleased with that.”

I’m inclined to think that this is a bit of a generous spin on his lack of scoring, but the truth is that although Nyquist has failed to produce in recent seasons, his value goes beyond the scoresheet. The Red Wings are a better team with Nyquist on the ice and have a noticeable increase in production.

Final Grade: B

I’m disappointed that he didn’t live up to my expectations, and at 27 going on 28, it’s hard to imagine that things are going to change now. I can’t really hold that against him though, so I am giving him a B.

He is a decent player who makes the Red Wings better, but he’s not particularly fun to watch anymore, at least most of the time. I don’t think that this team needs another low production player, despite the other tangible benefits.


What Grade Should Gustav Nyquist Receive?

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