Detroit Red Wings‘ 4th round pick in the 2008 draft (#121 overall), 2nd year Swedish right wing Gustav Nyquist(13) knew the route from minor league affiliate Grand Rapid Griffins‘ Van Andel Arena to Joe Louis pretty well by the end of the season.
The back-and-forth bus trips (or drives) are looking to be the norm again in his sophomore campaign.
The small-ish 5’11” 185 lbs. forward has a goal and an assist already in 5 games but knows consistency is the key to keep him with the big club and to ultimately gain a contract extension.
In the AHL he has set career highs in all categories, with 23 goals and 37 assists in 58 games already eclipsing last year’s marks. He is basically a point-per-game guy that leads the scoring race in the league and was chosen to appear in the 2013 All-Star Game.
He’s in the final season of his 2-year entry level deal and scheduled to become a restricted free agent at the end of 2012/2013.
There’s little doubt he will score a qualifying offer but much is expected of the 23-year old moving ahead.
For a European, he took the somewhat odd route to pro hockey by playing for a U.S. college team, where he was their leading scorer and left his last year to sign a deal.