Hobey Baker Finalist Signs
The Detroit Red Wings just got even deeper. And 29 other GM's once again wonder how a Hobey Baker Finalist was scooped up by Detroit in the fourth round of the draft (121st overall). Another hidden gem, another hit for Wings' European scout Hakan Andersson.
Gustav Nyquist has agreed to terms on a two-year, entry-level contract with the Red Wings and will forgo his senior year at the University of Maine.
Nyquist will immediately join the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League farm team.
Nyquist and the Red Wings agreed to the deal late Thursday. Detroit Assistant General Manager Jim Nill said this morning that Nyquist will sign a two-year, entry-level NHL contract for the 2011-2012 season, and he will immediately join the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League farm team, on an amateur tryout agreement.
Drafted by the Red Wings in 2008, Nyquist is a two-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top Division I college hockey player. This year, the Swedish right wing was Maine's leading scorer with 18 goals and 33 assists in 36 games and was the second-leading scorer in Hockey East.
Nyquist is the fourth Maine player from this year's team to turn pro, joining Tanner House (Edmonton/Oklahoma City), Josh Van Dyk (Calgary/Abbotsford) and Mike Banwell (New Jersey/Albany).
Obviously the Wings are thrilled to see Nyquist's game improve with Maine over the three year span he has been there, enough to have him skip his senior year to go pro with Grand Rapids. Over that span, he has 144 points in 113 games. He was the first freshman to lead the Black Bears in scoring since Paul Kariya did in 1992-93. If the Wings get a player being compared to Paul Kariya, that's never a bad thing (unless you count Kariya's injury problems).
Add Nyquist to the handful of Detroit prospects that will potentially have a big impact in years to come. These include Landon Ferraro, Calle Jarnkrok, Tomas Tatar, Teemu Pulkkinen and Brendan Smith, to name a few. Looking into the crystal ball, all these guys will make it to the bigs because Detroit doesn't have to rush them via Toronto Maple Leafs prospects. Let them develop at their own pace and when they are ready bring them up. Like Jim Nill says, "We'd rather have them overripe than not ripe enough."