Gustav Nyquist scored two goals in his season debut with the Red Wings on Thursday night.
After a strong playoff performance last season, it was clear that Nyquist possesses the skills necessary to play in the NHL. However, to start the season he was a victim of a numbers game with Detroit pressed up against the salary cap. He started the year with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL). In 15 games with the Griffins he scored seven goals and added 14 assists to lead the team with 21 points.
On Thursday, he was officially recalled because of Danny DeKeyser’s (shoulder) placement on long-term injured reserve opened up a roster spot and cap space. He made an impact immediately in his season debut, scoring on his first shift, just 17 seconds into the game. He capped the game off with a breakaway goal in the third period, which ended up being the game-winner.
It has already been confirmed that Nyquist will be in the lineup on Saturday when the Senators come to town. After tomorrow, Nyquist is with the Red Wings to stay. Following Saturday’s contest he will have to clear waivers before he can go back to the AHL. Obviously the Red Wings will not waive him, because there is a zero percent chance that he would clear. Detroit GM Ken Holland has some work to do to shuffle his lineup around so it will be compliant with the cap when DeKeyser returns in mid-to-late December.
Nyquist is only owned in 1% of Yahoo! leagues and should be worth an add . He will see regular top-six minutes alongside the likes of Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk. Playing with players of that caliber should help him produce on a nightly basis.
Here are some other names to consider that are available in a lot of leagues.
David Perron – EDM LW – 40% owned
Since returning from a neck injury on November 9, he has recorded at least one point in five of seven games. In that span he has six goals, three assists and 33 shots on goal. He is a speedy winger who was a consistent mid-40’s point producer with the Blues. With a new, expended role with Edmonton Perron is near a point-per-game this season (18 points in 20 games).
Brandon Saad – CHI LW – 48% owned
Saad has recorded a point in five of his last six games and has four goals and seven points in that span. He is firmly on the Blackhawks second line with Brandon Pirri and Patrick Kane and sees ample power-play time every night. There has been discussion of the 21-year-old having an outside chance of making Team U.S.A’s Olympic roster, so there is no reason for him not to be on your fantasy team.
Ryan O’Reilly – COL C/LW – 55% owned
O’Reilly has made the transition from centre to wing very well this season. At the start of year he struggled a little, but appears to be finding his groove on the Avalanche’s top-line. In his last nine games he has six goals and three assists including the overtime game-winner on Thursday. He is currently skating with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon (who will likely be replaced next week by Matt Duchene) and should stay there throughout the season, making him a strong, under the radar fantasy asset.
Slava Voynov – LA D – 64% owned
The secret has been out on Voynov for awhile now, so I am surprised to see him available in 36% of Yahoo! leagues. The 23-year-old defenceman has been on a tear lately. He has a goal and five assists in his last six contests after having just four points in the first 16 games. If you are in a Yahoo! league I would be jumping all over this pickup. If you are on ESPN, well they are ahead of the game and he is owned in 100% of leagues.