Detroit Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist was honored by the AHL on Wednesday, and was named to the All-Star First Team. Despite the fact that Nyquist has only played in one of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ last 13 games, his performance in 58 games for the Red Wings’ affiliate helped him become the Griffins’ first player to earn such an honor since the 2005-06 season. Nyquist was also selected to play in the AHL All-Star Classic this year for a second consecutive time, and was a member of the All-Rookie team last season. In his 14 games for the Red Wings, he has two goals and five points.
The Red Wings drafted Nyquist in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, and after he starred at the University of Maine for three seasons, he made an immediate impact for the Griffins as an AHL rookie last season. In 56 games Nyquist scored 22 goals and had 58 points, good enough to tie for the team lead in scoring. This season he scored 23 goals and added 37 assists for the Griffins, while leading the team in power play goals (nine) and power play points (25). He was leading the AHL in scoring at the time of his last recall and still ranks in the top ten as of this week. The Griffins have a chance to clinch the Midwest Division this weekend, and if they do it will be in large part thanks to Nyquist’s play this season.
Nyquist dazzled fans at the Joe Louis Arena with his shootout attempt on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks, as his spin-o-rama was just barely stopped the Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi. While the Red Wings still wait for him to increase production at the NHL level, his dominance at the AHL level made him him worthy of this recent honor.