Gustav Nyquist is showing no signs of running out of gas.
In his first season out of college, the 22-year-old Swedish left-winger started hot with the Grand Rapids Griffins and has stayed that way, riding remarkable consistency to an American Hockey League all-star spot in January.
Nyquist, second in AHL rookie scoring with 51 points in 49 games, has averaged a point-per-game every month of the season except one — November, when he missed the mark by just two points — and his slumps have been few and far between. Only three times has he gone without a point for more than one game, and his three-game pointless drought in January was his longest of the season.
“Most college kids come here and at the 40-game mark, they run out of gas, but Gus, this hasn’t bothered him at all,” said Griffins head coach Curt Fraser. “He continues to lead us offensively. He’s generated a ton of offensive opportunities for us.”
The 5-foot-11 185-pounder was drafted by the Red Wings out of the Swedish junior ranks in the fourth round (121st overall) in 2008. He came to North America the following season and blossomed into a Hobey Baker finalist in three NCAA seasons with the Maine Black Bears.
With the Griffins, he’s played both left and right wings as well as the point on the power play, and he’s on pace to become the first Red Wings prospect in Grand Rapids to average a point per game since Jiri Hudler did it in 2005-06 with 96 points in 76 contests.
Nyquist, always known for being a responsible two-way player, has a plus-3 rating and is second on the team with 136 shots, an average of 2.75 per game.
“He’s fast and when he’s got the puck, he’s very good at protecting it, he’s an excellent playmaker, and he’s starting to get better at shooting the puck more,” Fraser said. “A lot of our guys here are skilled guys who look to pass, but he’s starting to shoot more this year and that will really help him when he gets to the NHL.”
Nyquist is expected to challenge for a full-time NHL job as early as next season and is at the front of the line among forward prospects.
NOTES: The Red Wings gave defenseman Brendan Smith a big vote of confidence at the trade deadline, dealing away veteran Mike Commodore and anointing Smith the team’s No. 8 blueliner. Smith was recalled and will be one of seven defensemen on the NHL roster while Jonathan Ericsson is injured … Defenseman Alexei Marchenko (CSKA Moscow, KHL) returned to the KHL for two games this week after a five-game stint in Russia’s junior league. He has missed most of the season with a knee injury … Center Calle Jarnkok (Brynas, SEL) has been sidelined with a knee injury but hopes to be back in time for the IIHF world championship.
Following is this week’s statistical report.
SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT
|Coetzee, Willie||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||44||9||9||18||15||-3||102|
|Ferraro, Landon||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||41||6||9||15||34||-4||60|
|Nyquist, Gustav||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||49||17||34||51||16||+3||136|
|Tatar, Tomas||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||53||14||25||39||33||+7||159|
|Andersson, Joakim||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||50||14||18||32||20||+2||100|
|Aubry, Louis-Marc||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||39||4||8||12||19||-4||63|
|Callahan, Mitchell||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||38||5||3||8||78||-2||51|
|Ehrhardt, Travis||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||17||0||2||2||17||+4||22|
|Lashoff, Brian||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||53||7||6||13||27||-8||80|
|Pare, Francis||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||52||9||19||28||14||-9||123|
|Parkes, Trevor||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||38||2||6||8||21||+1||61|
|Raedeke, Brent||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||45||7||6||13||24||-1||70|
|Smith, Brendan||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||47||10||22||32||74||+7||99|
|Pyett, Logan||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||50||2||17||19||44||-1||121|
|Nestrasil, Andrej||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||11||2||1||3||2||-1||17|
|Fournier, Gleason||Grand Rapids||PRO||AHL||3||1||1||2||2||0||1|
|Nedomlel, Richard||Swift Current||JR||WHL||64||8||33||41||77||-34||N/A|
|Sproul, Ryan||Sault Ste. Marie||JR||OHL||53||17||26||43||47||+12||N/A|
|Jurco, Tomas||Saint John||JR||QMJHL||45||29||36||65||37||+43||177|
|Jensen, Nick||St. Cloud State||COL||NCAA||34||6||22||28||2||+10||66|
|Nicastro, Max||Boston U.||COL||NCAA||27||3||6||9||32||-2||41|
|Sheahan, Riley||Notre Dame||COL||NCAA||33||9||15||24||22||0||109|
|Marchenko, Alexei||CSKA Moscow||EUR||KHL||6||0||0||0||2||-4||3|
|Marchenko, Alexei||CSKA Moscow||EUR-JR||MHL||5||2||4||6||10||+2||7|
GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT
|Pearce, Jordan||Grand Rapids||AHL||17||3||7||1||1||3.53||.874|
|McCollum, Thomas||Grand Rapids||AHL||15||6||8||0||0||3.59||.883|