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Here at Winged Pride we have already looked at the transition into the NHL in regards to defenseman. However with Nyquist just rejoining the Red Wings, Winged Pride has figured this article should be written now. This article is going to discuss Gustav Nyquist and his transition process into the NHL.
Let's talk about his skills, Nyquist is an extremely high skilled player. He has good hands, great playmaking ability, good but not great speed, and he plays a solid two way game. Nyquist also has the ability to make some highlight reel goals at the NHL level. Nyquist is an extremely over ripe prospect who has the skill and ability to play a legitimate role on an NHL team right now. One of the trademarks of the Red Wings organization is that they let their prospects stay in the minors for an extremely long time so that they can come in and make immediate impacts. It is unfortunate for us fans sometimes when we have to wait this long to see a guy like Nyquist throw on the winged wheel, but it is really nice when we don't have to watch a prospect make mistakes in big games because they aren't ready for the moment. A mistake that some teams make is that they bring their prospects up too early and it destroys their growth and they never pan out to what they are supposed to be. The Red Wings are extremely patient with their prospects and it gives them a much higher rate of success on their prospects growth and development.
Now more than ever the Red Wings prospects need to perform to get on the ice. There are so many players with so much talent that a player has to be at their best to play. This creates an environment where everyone has to work hard. Everyone has to improve. Everyone has to grow. There is competition between these players. They all want the same thing and they know that not all of them are going to get it.
This is especially true for Nyquist. He has been able to play in the NHL since the beginning of the year last year. However, he had to work hard, improve his game, and grow. Nyquist thrived in the minors last year and in the early parts of this year scoring more than a point per game. He strengthened his defensive game and improved his finishing ability. When a player gets rushed up to the NHL they may not be as complete as they could be. They may not have developed all the necessary skills to become a productive two way player on a team. Nyquist was given time to develop those skills. This is why his transition seems so seamless. He is able to step in and contribute immediately, giving us gems like this. Gustav's confidence makes this play happen. A lot of players wouldn't have the confidence to go one on one with a defenseman in a game as big as that one. He makes the move and has the poise to be patient and waits for Crawford to give him the net. Nyquist was bigger than the moment and provided a spark to a team that would end up winning that game.
Nyquist can now play with the Red Wings on a top 6 role(despite what Winged Pride would love to see). Since he was given so much time to develop his skills in the minors, he can easily transition into the NHL. He can skate, shoot, pass, and play defense. The only question is how much will he improve now that he's here to stay.