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Nyquist named to AHL All-Rookie Team

by Randy Cleves / Detroit Red Wings
Rookie forward Gustav Nyquist at his NHL debut in 2011.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus)
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Gustav Nyquist on Wednesday was named to the 2011-12 American Hockey League All-Rookie Team.

Despite missing nine of the Griffins’ last 12 games while with the parent Detroit Red Wings, Nyquist still ranks among the AHL’s top rookies with 22 goals (T6th), 36 assists (T5th), 58 points (T4th) and four shootout goals (T2nd). Nyquist is also tied for 15th in overall AHL scoring, while leading the Griffins – the highest scoring team in the Western Conference – points, power play goals (7), power play assists (13), insurance goals (4). He also ranks among team leaders with a plus-seven rating (5th), four first goals (T3rd), a 0.571 shootout percentage (3rd) and a 14.5% shooting percentage (3rd).

In his last game with the club – a 5-2 win versus Hamilton on March 17 – Nyquist recorded three points (2-1—3) to become the franchise’s all-time rookie scoring leader. The 22-year-old is just one of seven Griffins rookies ever to score 20 goals, and his 22 goals trail only Francis Pare and Justin Abdelkader on the team’s all-time rookie goal scoring list.

A native of Halmstad, Sweden, Nyquist joined the Griffins late last season on an eight-game tryout following his junior year at the University of Maine. While a member of the Black Bears, Nyquist received consecutive nominations for the Hobey Baker Award as a sophomore and junior, while leading his team in scoring during all three of his seasons (2008-11). He racked up 144 points (50-94—144) in 113 collegiate games, leading the entire NCAA in scoring during the 2009-10 season with 61 points (19-42—61) in 39 games.

Nyquist becomes the fourth Griffin to be named to the AHL All-Rookie Team, joining current Red Wings Justin Abdelkader (2008-09) and Jimmy Howard (2005-06), as well as Brendan Smith, who was named to the All-Rookie Team last season. The 5-11, 185-pound forward was also the team’s lone representative at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic.

Detroit’s third choice (121st overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Nyquist made his NHL debut on Nov. 1 versus Minnesota and scored his first NHL goal on March 26 versus Columbus. He has recorded seven points (1-6—7) in 15 games with the Red Wings this season, adding a plus-two rating and two penalty minutes.

Nyquist becomes a top candidate for the AHL’s Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award (outstanding rookie).

The other members of the AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted by AHL coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 30 member cities, are forwards Cory Conacher (Norfolk) and Tyler Johnson (Norfolk); defensemen Matt Donovan (Bridgeport) and Cade Fairchild (Peoria); and goaltender Eddie Pasquale (St. John’s).
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