Gustav Nyquist could be just what the Detroit Red Wings need to get going offensively. According to the Detroit Free Press, he will take Jiri Hudler's spot in a top-six role on a line with Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi.
Mike Babcock was quoted in the paper regarding what kind of role Nyquist would fill for the ailing Red Wings team: "I'm going to give him an opportunity. He's going to play on the power play, he's going to play play regular shifts. We're going to watch him play and go from there."
Those words must have created butterflies in the stomach of the 22-year-old, who is making his NHL regular season debut with the big club.
Nyquist's biggest asset at this point is his hockey sense. As Babcock was quoted on MLive.com:
He wants the puck and he’s a skilled player who doesn’t scare you to death. He’s good without the puck and he’s been great in the American League. The ball is in his court now, and he’ll come up and we’ll see what he can do.
Chances don't get much better than this on a Red Wings club that takes pride in over-seasoning their young players. Hudler was scratched because he hasn't registered a shot in four games—not a good argument to keep your job on a team that isn't scoring goals.
Fabian Brunnstrom was also sent down to the minors to clear a roster spot for Nyquist to make his debut.
These aren't Detroit-type moves, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The squad has dropped four straight, and has slipped to third in the Central division. It is generating plenty of shots, but looking for that finishing touch.
Nyquist brings just that to the table. He scored four goals in nine games for the Grand Rapids Griffins and was an excellent finisher in Maine during his three-year collegiate career.
Here's hoping that he sticks. The Red Wings need a bit of a jolt and will be looking to get just that from one of the top youngsters in the organization.
Update: According to several news sources the Detroit Red Wings have demoted Nyquist to the AHL after he made his debut against the Wild. He played just over 11 minutes for the Wings in their losing effort against Minnesota. Nyquist did not register a shot on goal.