When Gustav Nyquist left Sweden for North America, his ability to transition his offensive game against a bigger and grittier style of play came into question.
Nyquist has answered his critics as he has enjoyed a very successful rookie campaign at the University of Maine. In 22 games with the team he has scored 19 points, including nine goals. If he can keep up his offensive touch and ability to withstand the wear and tear of gritty hockey, Nyquist projects as a second line player in the NHL.
2007-08: In his second season with Malmo (SWE-U20), Nyquist recorded 11 goals and 20 assists in 24 games. He racked up another goal for Team Sweden in the WJC (U19). He intends to play hockey for the University of Maine for the 2008-09 season.
2008-09: Nyquist scored 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in his freshman season at the University of Maine. He represented Sweden with the U20 team, registering 1 assist in 4 international appearances.
2009-10: Nyquist took a huge step forward with the Maine Black Bears, finishing with 19 goals and 42 assists for 61 points in 39 games while serving as one of the team's alternate captains. His 61 points led the nation and his 42 assists tied for the lead. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker and received All-Tournament Team and First All-Star Team recognition from Hockey East.
2010-11: Nyquist was a bit inconsistent during his final season at the University of Maine, but still managed to score 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points over 36 games. Received a try-out contract for the Griffins, where he looked comfortable scoring 1 goal and 3 assists for 4 points in 8 games.
2011-12: Nyquist made his NHL debut with Detroit appearing in one November game – and then shuffled between the Red Wings and their AHL affiliate Grand Rapids – before sticking with Detroit for good in March. He scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was plus-2 with 2 penalty minutes; averaging 10:35 minutes of ice time in 18 regular season games. Nyquist skated in 4 of 5 games in the Red Wings' first round series with Nashville, averaging just under nine minutes of ice time, and was plus-one with no points or penalty minutes. Nyquist was the second-leading scorer for Grand Rapids; scoring 22 goals with 36 assists in 56 games and was plus-7 with 18 penalty minutes. The Griffins failed to make the AHL playoffs; finishing fourth in the North Division.
2012-13: Nyquist played 22 regular season games and all 14 playoff contests for Detroit in his second pro season. He appeared in single contests in January and February before joining the Red Wings for good on March 16th. He scored 3 goals with 3 assists and had an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes; averaging 13 minutes of ice time. In the Red Wings' two seven-game playoff series with Anaheim and Chicago he scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes. Nyquist was the leading scorer for Detroit AHL affiliate Grand Rapids. He scored 23 goals with 37 assists in 60 regular season games and was +10 with 34 penalty minutes. The Griffins finished first in the Midwest Division and captured the Calder Cup championship. Nyquist scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was -4 with 19 penalty minutes in 10 AHL playoff games.
Nyquist has a very high hockey IQ, and pairing this with his good skating and great passing makes him a true playmaker. Also plays an effective defensive game.
He will attempt to stand out in a crowded group of forwards and stay with the Red Wings for a full season in 2012-13. He projects to be a fixture of Detroit's top six for years to come.