Sharks acquire Gustav Nyquist from Red Wings

A stop in Motown yields more than just a win.

It looks like San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson waited until this late afternoon to see what his favorite Sharks blog had to say with regard to who he should go after for this year’s trade deadline.

Or, you know, something about broken clocks being right twice a day, but probably the former.

The Sharks have made their first major deadline move in acquiring Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist, sending back a 2019 second rounder and a conditional third in 2020, which becomes a second should Erik Karlsson God forbid not re-sign with San Jose Nyquist re-sign with the Sharks.

Without another contract going back the other way, Detroit will retain 30 percent of Nyquist’s salary. The Red Wings save the Sharks $1.425 million in his $4.75 million salary, putting the Sharks tight against the cap for the remainder of the season. They only have $447,688 in cap space for additional moves.

The Sharks have made their big splash as they get set to make arguably their best run at Lord Stanley’s Cup in their history.

Nyquist should be able to slot in anywhere in the team’s top-nine and provide an immediate impact. Over the last two calendar years, he’s been above average defensively and has helped immensely at driving offense. The 11 percent (HockeyViz) refers to how likely the Red Wings have been to score at even strength thanks to his influence on unblocked shots. Though Nyquist’s defense seems decent, this year suggests he’s not been quite as strong in that regard. He’s an above-average shooter and should be able to turn the shots San Jose already generates into goals fairly regularly.

Nyquist has not only contributed to his team’s unblocked shots. According to Evolving-Hockey’s model, which also attempts to isolate player impact from that of his surroundings, Nyquist has had an impressive impact on his team’s goal-scoring, as measured by his goals above replacement (GAR) measurement.

On-ice goals contain plenty of luck, of course, even when adjusting for teammates and zone starts and competition and game score. Luckily, the Evolving-Hockey model also measures a player’s isolated impact on expected goals and shots.

Mark Stone is probably the most coveted trade deadline player this season, and for good reason. With a reported $10 million contract as the Ottawa Senators’ offer, he is arguably a top-five forward in the league. Nyquist, while he may pale in comparison to Stone’s impact, is still an above average driver of even-strength goals, expected goals and shots.

Nyquist has also been, over the last three seasons, a solid neutral zone contributor. That ability should come in handy with the right Sharks’ forward line on a team that has few standout transition forwards on its current roster.

The 28-year-old has 49 points (16 goals, 33 assists) in 62 games this season. He had to waive his no-trade clause (NTC) to join the Sharks, where he knows at least one player. He and Erik Karlsson played on Team Sweden together in the 2014 Olympic Games.

Given that San Jose may be leaving Detroit today (Monday) because of strong winds, Nyquist may conveniently hop on the plane and join the team before they head out to avenge last week’s controversial loss to the Boston Bruins Tuesday at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. Even if he doesn’t catch the Sharks’ flight, Nyquist should be able to make it Beantown before puck drop.