Here’s something you’ve never heard before: The Detroit Red Wings will be starting a hot shot Swedish prospect tonight against Minnesota.
Joining the ranks of Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Tomas Holmstrom, and Jonathan Ericsson in the Red Wings lineup is former second-round pick Gustav Nyquist.
Nyquist was a Hobey Baker Award finalist while playing at the University of Maine last year and after just a handful of games in the AHL, he’s getting his shot to steal a spot in the Wings’ lineup.
With Jiri Hudler playing like a guy who spent a year away from the NHL in Russia and the Red Wings in the midst of a four-game losing streak that’s seen their offense evaporate, Nyquist is getting the chance to prove he belongs. For a kid that’s just 22 years old, getting to crack the Red Wings lineup and play on a line with Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi gives him the chance to be the set-up man and designated speed demon.
For the Wings, it’s just another sign that their reliance on players out of Sweden is no joke and that if opponents would like to better talk trash, they’d best be bilingual.