NHLers plan competitive scrimmage circuit

Michigan Live relays that the Detroit Red Wings are excited about Gustav Nyquist’s potential. After an outstanding collegiate career at Maine, Nyquist averaged more than a point a game in his first pro season with the Griffins (22 goals, 58 points in 56 games). His skills were evident during a couple of stints with the Red Wings – he had a goal and seven assists in 18 games and appeared in four playoff games (no points).

“You talk about a guy who was the leading scorer in college hockey as a sophomore,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He was a candidate for the Hobey Baker.

“You say, ‘OK, that’s college.’ Then he goes to the American League and at the 60-game mark he’s in the top 10 in scoring as a rookie. In a pro league, that’s hard to do. He gets called up to the NHL and in (18) games he has eight points and he only played a little bit with our top six.”

Holland and coach Mike Babcock have talked to Nyquist about shooting the puck. He had only 19 shots in 18 games.

“He’s got great hockey sense, he can see the ice, he can pass, he can pull up, but if you want to play with the Zetterbergs and Datsyuks you’ve got to pull the trigger,” Holland said.

Players evolve based on opportunity, Holland said.

“We think he can be a top-six forward,” Holland said. “Is it now, or is there still some evolution of the player that needs to go on?

“We need to get on the ice and play against other teams to see.”

Holland added, “Look at Pav; his first (two) years in the league he had 11 and 12 goals and he became a 30-goal scorer. (Nyquist) can do it, but how quick is it going to happen?”