Nyquist Traded to Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings have traded Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Red Wings announced Monday.

Nyquist is in his sixth full-NHL season and has scored 16 goals and 49 points. As far as point production goes, the Swedish winger is having the best season of his career and is on pace to record 21 goals and 64 points this season. To put that in perspective, Nyquist’s career-high in points to date is 54, a feat he achieved back in 2014-15.

Though Nyquist hasn’t been able to replicate the same success he found in his first two full seasons in the NHL when he’d score 28 goals and 48 points in 57 games in 2013-14 followed by 27 goals and 54 points in 82 games in his sophomore season, he’s still been a very effective top-six winger for the Red Wings throughout his career.

The 29-year-old has never recorded under 40 points in a season and was the perfect candidate to help a contender heading into the postseason this year. In the last year of his four-year contract that he signed in 2015, Nyquist will account for just over $1 million of the Sharks deadline salary cap space as the Red Wings have already paid him $3.7 million this season.

Gustav Nyquist - Red Wings
Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings – Dec. 18, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Sharks hold the second-best record in the Western Conference with 82 points sitting only behind the Calgary Flames. One of the best team’s in the league, the Sharks acquiring Nyquist gives them very solid depth on either their second or third line where their newest addition can play either left wing or right wing.

As it stands, the Sharks have Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton occupying their three center positions in the top-nine. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them use Nyquist alongside Thornton on the third-line though Nyquist could also push Joonas Donskoi, their current second-line right winger, down a line.

Red Wings Continuing Rebuild

For the Red Wings, this deal is just another move to try and rebuild their team over the next few seasons. The team already moved on from defender Nick Jensen (who would be acquired by the Washington Capitals before signing a four-year extension with the team) in exchange for Madison Bowey and a second-round pick in 2020.

Detroit Red Wings Nick Jensen
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

These two high picks don’t represent the optimal value that teams would hope for when a player like Nyquist is being moved, but with Nyquist holding a full no-trade clause in his deal, it’s likely that this was the best the team could do from a team that Nyquist was willing to waive the clause for.

As Bob Mckenzie mentioned, the team in the Eastern Conference that was closest to landing Nyquist was the Boston Bruins, the team sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference. It’s possible that Nyquist didn’t waive his no-trade clause for the Bruins and the Sharks represented the next-best value for the Red Wings.