NHL Trade Grade: San Jose Sharks add to arsenal with Gustav Nyquist

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images /

The San Jose Sharks have added yet another potent weapon to their lethal offense by trading for Gustav Nyquist. 

From the moment the San Jose Sharks traded for defenseman Erik Karlsson in September, it’s been obvious – they’re going all in. Early on Monday morning, they finalized a deal to add what could be the missing piece to their Stanley Cup puzzle. The Sharks acquired Gustav Nyquist from the Detroit Red Wings for a 2019 second-round pick and a conditional 2020 third-round pick.

If San Jose either makes the Stanley Cup Final or re-signs Nyquist, that third-round pick turns into a second-round pick. He has 16 goals and 49 points in 62 games this season. Both stats are close to his career highs of 28 and 54, respectively. Nyquist’s value was hurt by his no-trade clause.

Let’s take a look at the deal from the perspective of both sides.

Red Wings

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As I said earlier, the Red Wings had their backs against the wall because of Nyquist’s no-trade clause. But they still got a pretty decent return despite there not being that much interest in him. That conditional pick has a good chance of becoming a second-round pick because the Sharks are one of the few teams in the Western Conference capable of making it to the Stanley Cup Final.

However, the Red Wings didn’t get the same return the Senators got for Ryan Dzingel. Nyquist and Dzingel have similar numbers and Nyquist is the better player at driving play. That said, his no-trade clause probably caused that, so we won’t penalize them for it.

Grade: B. Could have been better, but I’m guessing the full no-trade clause hurt his value. Still a pretty solid haul, all things considered. Goes up to a B+ if it’s two second-round picks. 


Sharks fans are going to love Nyquist. He’s an impressive playmaker who should add something to their lineup. My best guess is he’ll slot in on the third line because Jonas Donskoi’s doing a darn good job on the second line.

Nyquist should add some speed and skill to the third line. And you can expect his goal numbers to jump simply because his primary center will most likely be Joe Thornton.

According to Evolving Hockey, Nyquist’s 1.5 WAR ranks 24th out of the 39 forwards with at least 900 minutes at even strength. Furthermore, his even strength GAR of 8.0 ranks 17th.

Nyquist was an effective weapon on Detroit’s power play, which converted on 16.6% of its chances. This season, he totaled 11 points on that power play, which is nearly half of their 28 total power play goals. The Sharks power play is noticeably better, converting on 25%, so Nyquist should be a great fit there.

Next. Ranking Each Team's All-Time Starting Lineup. dark

Grade: A-. San Jose got one of the few forwards out there who could make their lineup more lethal. And they didn’t even give up a first-round pick to do it. Doug Wilson has done it again.