Gustav Nyquist came to the Blue Jackets at a time he was sorely needed - after some key departures from the team at the end of the 2018-19 season, nabbing him from a lackluster San Jose Sharks team felt like a mutually beneficial move for all parties involved. Plus, he got to return to the Midwest after he spent his first seven NHL seasons in Detroit.
He fit like a glove right away; he had already been training with Michigander Zach Werenski in the offseason, and played in college (University of Maine) against Cam Atkinson (Boston College). Plus, he got to join the swath of Swedes the CBJ has collected on their roster: Emil Bemstrom, Alexander Wennberg, Jakob Lilja, Kevin Stenlund, and Gabriel Carlsson, to name a few of his countrymen he got to play with this year. Love that for them!
Not only is Nyquist here for a good time, he’s also here for a long time. This man has 570 NHL games under his belt and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He played 70 games in the 2019-20 season alone, tied for highest number of GP with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Boone Jenner. Gus is dependable and durable, and we love that energy on a team who’s been smacked pretty hard by the injury stick this past year.
He’s fourth on the team in goals scored this past season, behind Oliver Bjorkstrand, Werenski, and PLD, and he’s second in assists with 27, behind PLD with 31. He’s been a real producer for the team this year, and it’s only his first season with the team - we’ve got three more years of him! He’s fun to watch, he’s a reliable player, and he is a genuinely nice dude. What else could we ask for?
Gustav Nyquist 2019-20 Stats
Games Played: 70
5v5 CF%: 48.21%
5v5 FF%: 49.60%
Games Played: 10
5v5 CF%: 45.21%
5v5 FF%: 45.75%
The Goose just wrapped up his first year of four with the Blue Jackets - he signed a 4-year, $22 million contract with the CBJ in 2019. His annual average salary is $5.5 million. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
One of my favorite Nyquist moments of this past year came early on in the 2019-20 season, when he scored a game-winning OT penalty goal against the Maple Leafs in Toronto last October. This article by The Detroit News is a really nice write-up of how the Red Wings product found a niche in Columbus, among a team who desperately needed his veteran skill, reliability, and unflappable presence. Here’s a quick excerpt:
“You say ‘Gus’ and I say ‘Pro’,” said Jackets coach John Tortorella, who praised Nyquist’s professionalism on several occasions this season when the Jackets faced the Wings. “He’s just a good pro. He’s one of the better players I’ve seen in small spaces. He doesn’t say boo and I’ve used him in a lot of different spots, bounced him up and down the lines.”
Honestly, I didn’t really feel his presence in the playoffs this year like I felt him in the regular season. With zero goals and two assists, the team could have really used him if he were able to step up and be more productive offensively, especially against Tampa Bay.
The silver lining here is that there’s always next year! And the next, and the next. Happy to have you, Gus!
How would you grade Gustav Nyquist’s season?
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