Drafted in the fourth round, 121st overall in 2008 by the Red Wings, another Swedish late round draft steal made his 2013-14 debut Wednesday night. You’re going to want to believe the hype around Gustav Nyquist.
What better way to be eased into a full-time NHL role than by playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen? For a fourth round draft pick from Sweden, there probably isn’t one. Since being drafted in 2008, Nyquist has done nothing but stock his trophy case. He was an NCAA East First All-American team member in 2009-10, and a member of the second team the following season. He made the AHL All-Rookie team in 2011-12, and was a first team all-star the next year.
While he’s played parts of the last two seasons, after recording seven goals and 21 points in 15 AHL games this year, Nyquist seems ready to be a full-time NHLer. His transition will be eased by automatically being put on the Red Wings top line.
If that’s not enough for you, consider the following:
– 75 points in 65 games in the Swedish junior league
– 144 points in 112 games in the Hockey East League out of New England
– 122 points in 122 AHL games
– 17 points in 58 NHL games (including playoffs)
That last point may not seem that impressive, but looking at some other Swedish greats, he appears right on track.
– Mats Sundin: 59 points in first 80 NHL games
– Henrik Sedin: 29 points in first 82 NHL games
– Daniel Sedin: 34 points in first 75 NHL games
– Johan Franzen: 16 points in first 80 NHL games
– Henrik Zetterberg: 44 points in first 79 NHL games
The biggest difference between Nyquist and all of the above, is that he’s had time to transition to North American pro hockey in the AHL. Expect his two goals on Wednesday assisted by Zetterberg to be the beginning of a beautiful and long relationship. Pick him up in all formats, and reap the rewards.