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Nyquist to replace Franzen in Olympics

Young forward received call Sunday to join nine Wings teammates in Sochi

Monday, 02.3.2014 / 6:16 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Nyquist to replace Franzen in Olympics

Gustav Nyquist
Gustav Nyquist
Right Wing  - DET
Goals: 13 | Assists: 9 | Pts: 22
Shots: 74 | +/-: 4
DETROIT - While the hockey world patiently waited for the announcement of forward Johan Franzen’s replacement on Team Sweden Monday, Gustav Nyquist conducted business as usual at The Joe, as the 24-year-old already knew he would be traveling to Sochi.

Nyquist received a call from Swedish officials Sunday night informing him of their decision to add him to the country’s 2014 Olympic roster, and the forward was more than happy to cancel his vacation plans to participate in the Winter Games.

“Obviously I’m really excited,” Nyquist said. “It’s going to be something special to represent your country in the Olympics. They don’t come around too often so it’s going to be an amazing experience.”

Nyquist became an early favorite to replace Franzen, as he scored four goals and earned seven points through the five games leading up to the veteran’s Jan. 30 announcement that he was withdrawing from the Olympics due to reoccurring concussion-like symptoms.

If the Swedish officials needed any more evidence of Nyquist’s abilities, the forward recorded four goals and one assist in a home-and-home series versus the Capitals over the next three days, including his first career hat trick and four-point performance in a 6-5 overtime loss in Washington Sunday afternoon.

A few hours later, Nyquist received official word that he would be accompanying nine of his Wings teammates, five of which he’ll skate alongside for Team Sweden, in Sochi.

“That helps it’s going to be a lot of fun with those guys that you already know very well, so you know to experience this with them is something special for sure,” Nyquist said.

Nyquist joins captain Henrik Zetterberg, defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, goaltender Jonas Gustavsson and forward Daniel Alfredsson on Sweden’s roster, and all were eager to express their congratulations to the youngster on his addition to the team.

“They’re all happy for me, they all knew yesterday too so it was fun,” Nyquist said.

Although the 2014 Winter Olympics will be the highest level Nyquist has competed at during his professional career, the forward did play on the international level when he suited up for the IF Malmo Redhawks U-18 team in Sweden during the 2005-06 season. But he knows it’s extremely difficult to take anything away from that experience to help him prepare for the ice hockey tournament in Sochi.

“It’s tough, it’s way different hockey,” Nyquist said. “That was juniors you know and this is pro so it’s going to be different for sure. I’ve never played pro hockey on a big rink before so I’m sure it’s going to be a little different but hopefully it goes well.”

For now, Nyquist will focus on helping his team finish strong in its final three games before the Olympic break, but the thought of what awaits him in Russia gives the forward an exciting experience to look forward to in the near future.

“Just the whole experience I think is going to be a lot of fun, to meet people,” Nyquist said. “I don’t know how much time we’ll have on our hands to watch any other events or anything like that but that’s going to be something cool for sure.”

Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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