Gustav Nyquist wasn’t able to start the 2013-14 season with the Detroit Red Wings, but in the six games he has played since joining the team he is making the most of his chance to be a top-six forward. Nyquist has four goals and five points in six games, and has helped provide scoring in the absence of Pavel Datsyuk. He is currently seeing time with Johan Franzen and captain Henrik Zetterberg, and the Red Wings have won five of the six games he has played in.
The salary cap issues that forced the Red Wings to keep Nyquist in the AHL to start the season are still around, and veterans Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo were sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins in the past few weeks. A great start is great news for Nyquist, but he needs to continue to be a scoring threat and showing he deserves his spot in the lineup. At the time of his call-up he was leading the Griffins with seven goals and 21 points in 15 games, picking up right where he left off last season. As an AHL sophomore, Nyquist led the Griffins with 22 goals and 60 points (while also playing 22 games for the Red Wings) and had seven points in 10 games to help lead Grand Rapids to its first Calder Cup Championship.
When he was called up, Nyquist was able to play one game and remain waiver-exempt. He scored two goals in that game, though, and made any thoughts about sending him back to the AHL disappear. He’s in Detroit to stay, and after being projected as one of the Red Wings’ top-six forwards of the future for the last few years, needs to continue to show that he can duplicate his AHL success at a higher level.