On Tuesday night, the Blue Jackets finally delved into the NHL trade deadline bonanza, dealing UFA veteran winger Gustav Nyquist to the Minnesota Wild for a 2023 5th round pick.
The only surprising aspect of this trade in reality, was the team that landed Nyquist. Which honestly, isn’t all that surprising – it’s not like we had a beat on teams lining up to acquire Nyquist, who has spent the last month or so on IR with a shoulder injury.
It’s a sad, but fitting end to the story between Nyquist and the Blue Jackets. He joined the team in the dreaded summer of 2019 and helped them through the culture shift that occurred when most of the high end talent left Columbus that summer, and over the next couple of seasons. Quietly, “Gus” showed up for work every day and went about his work, chipping in secondary scoring and killing penalties.
He spent four years under contract with the Jackets, though he played only three seasons here after missing the entire 2020-21 season due to injury. In exactly 200 games, he scored 43 goals and 117 points in the Union Blue, which are fine numbers, if not incredibly exciting.
What we’ll remember most about Gus is his quiet, friendly demeanor and veteran presence. The experience he helped pass on to some of the younger players on the team is invaluable, and in a few years’ time I think we’ll look back fondly and remember that it was Nyquist who set the example and helped teach a lot of these guys how to play consistent hockey in the NHL.
The 5th round pick in return may seem underwhelming, but at the end of the day it’s right on par with what the Jackets should have been expecting – even if he had remained healthy. The NHL’s announcement yesterday that they would scrutinize any deal made for an injured player, probably helped limit the return – and likely sped up the decision here. Almost comically, this 5th round pick is originally Boston’s property, the team the Jackets were rumored to be dealing Gavrikov to last week.
This trade gives the Jackets nine picks at the upcoming draft (though, likely to change with the upcoming announcement of another trade) – one each in the first, second, fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds; and two each in the third and fourth rounds.
Want your voice heard? Join the Union And Blue team!
When they signed Nyquist in the summer of 2019, I’m guessing that part of the value there would be dealing him off this season for future assets. While the return is probably not everything they envisioned, it helps the rebuild and they got three productive seasons out of him – and some invaluable experience. We wish Gus all the best as he gets a chance to play playoff hockey with the Minnesota Wild.