Have we talked much about Gus Nyquist?
As we wind down the 2021-22 NHL regular season, Nyquist is a particular player for the Columbus Blue Jackets who's having a really nice season.
After missing all of last year's 56-game shortened season due to recovering from a torn labrum, the 32-year-old Swede had to be eager to get back on the ice and prove he's still got it.
In what's only his second season on the ice for the Blue Jackets, Nyquist has nearly the offensive output he displayed in his first year with Columbus in 2019-20 (42 points: 15 goals, 27 assists) as this year with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) through 57 games.
Additionally, Nyquist has taken over for Cam Atkinson in the short-handed goal department, leading the club with four this season. Prior to this season, guess how many he had?
One, and you guessed it, with the Jackets in 19-20.
THAT PASS BY GUS pic.twitter.com/8SWxR1oGcH— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 8, 2022
Nyquist is interesting as he has a cap hit of $5.5 million through next season before he's a UFA again, at which case he'll be 33-years-old.
Not that there's been any concrete discussion, or any discussion at all, regarding even trading Nyquist. But there's an argument to be made that it's a logical idea.
Mark Scheig and Nicholas Arnold of The Hockey Writers and Union Junction podcast tackled that idea last month and mentioned Tyler Toffoli as a possible comparable.
If you remember, Toffoli was dealt to the Calgary Flames from the Montreal Canadiens on Valentine's Day for a 2022 first-round draft pick (top-10 protected), a 2024 fifth-round pick, forward Tyler Pitlick, and prospect Emil Heineman.
Toffoli is in the second season of a four-year deal he signed with the Canadiens prior to the 2020-21 season with a cap hit of $4.25 million. He's still just 29-years-old and the two-time Stanley Cup Champion has 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) this season.
There's certainly a case to be made for trading Nyquist at any point before his Blue Jackets contract runs out after next season.
There certainly could be a market for Nyquist, even if it's for one draft pick, and not the haul Toffoli brings back considering his offensive output, the term left, and Toffoli being a few years younger.
For the Flames, a team trying to establish themselves as a true Stanley Cup contender, it's worked out as he has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 11 games.
Nyquist is sixth on the Blue Jackets in points per game (0.59) and averages 17:08 of ice-time on a nightly basis in all situations. Per Evolving-Hockey he's among the more valuable Blue Jackets by their metrics.
There was once the thought of exposing Nyquist to the Seattle Kraken before last summer's Expansion Draft. It made sense at the time and now Nyquist has proven his worth on the ice.
If the Blue Jackets opt to dangle Nyquist now and can bring back a first and maybe more, you'd do that right?