Fantasy Take: Nyquist Finds His Way to San Jose

by Ian Gooding on February 25, 2019


The Detroit Red Wings have traded forward Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks for a 2019 second-round pick and a conditional 2020 third-round pick.

Nyquist is the Wings’ second-leading scorer with 49 points (16g-33a) in 62 games. He is currently on pace for 65 points, which would be a career high. Nyquist can owe much of his success this season to Dylan Larkin, as 78 percent of both Nyquist’s even-strength minutes and even-strength points have been with Larkin centering him. Nyquist is set to be a UFA after the season, so this trade could be a pure rental for the Sharks.

Nyquist should experience a soft landing in San Jose, as there are a number of potentially solid line combinations. For example, a potential Evander KaneTomas Hertl – Nyquist line would have fantasy owners drooling. Currently Joonas Donskoi occupies that spot, and Nyquist would represent an upgrade over the Sharks’ fourth-year winger, who has been held without a point in six consecutive games anyway. It’s also possible that Nyquist could bump Kevin Labanc off the first-unit power play, which would keep a four-forward arrangement as long as Erik Karlsson is sidelined. Five of Labanc’s 17 points over his last 18 games have been on the man advantage, so this is worth watching for Labanc owners.
 


Seven of those nine players with at least 40 points are forwards. Rather than loading up a scoring line, this trade could represent an opportunity for the Sharks to spread out their scoring on 3-4 solid lines, which would minimize any resulting production losses. Either way, the Sharks have scoring depth that is nearly unrivalled. In addition, with Detroit retaining about 30 percent of Nyquist’s salary, it’s even possible that the Sharks aren’t done yet.

With Nyquist’s departure, Anthony Mantha might be the most natural fit on the Wings’ top line. Mantha has spent some time alongside Larkin this season, and he has been relatively hot lately (10 points in his last seven games). It’s also worth mentioning that the Wings have recently recalled Filip Zadina, which was likely in anticipation of the Nyquist deal. Don’t expect Zadina to surface on the top line or first-unit power play (yet), but at least this trade opens the door for the 2018 sixth overall pick in Detroit. This trade could also somehow provide Andreas Athanasiou, the Wings’ third-leading scorer, with better linemates.

Players this helps, in order:

Nyquist

Hertl

Kane

Mantha

Zadina

Athanasiou

Players this hurts, in order:

Larkin

Tyler Bertuzzi (Nyquist’s linemate in Detroit)

Donskoi

Labanc

Fantasy owners are discussing the trade in the Forum – give your take here!