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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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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
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8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59