Gustav Nyquist is a sensible trade piece this offseason for Nashville Predators

It's expected that the Predators will make some big waves this offseason in trying to upgrade their offense while also not dismantling their retool How does Nyquist possibly factor into this?
Apr 13, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators center Gustav Nyquist (14) skates
Apr 13, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators center Gustav Nyquist (14) skates / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The arrival of the offseason is setting in more and more, as the Nashville Predators' season ended almost two weeks ago and they have held their concluding press conference.

General Manager Barry Trotz said that he wants to make the roster younger and faster, and that he will consider trades and free agency equally.

It will obviously be impossible to improve the team and bring everyone back, and Trotz acknowledged that sacrifices will have to be made due to cap constraints. If the Predators want to make their roster younger while also making the overall team better, then Gustav Nyquist is someone for whom they should explore a trade.

He is coming off of a tremendous career year in which he got 75 points in 81 games, and had great chemistry with Ryan O'Reilly and Filip Forsberg. Some might be uncomfortable moving on from Nyquist due to his importance to the Predators this year, but it has a much better chance of setting them up for future success than keeping him does.

Now is the perfect time to trade Nyquist, Predators should capitalize

Nyquist signed with the Predators last offseason and has one more year on his contract. He was signed mainly to be a stopgap for the top six but had potential to be a tremendous value player for the team, and boy was that ever the case.

Nyquist did not just reach the levels he was at while at his best, he shattered them. He blew his previous point totals out of the water and was a prominent playmaker on what was one of the most consistent top lines in hockey.

He was previously known as a low end first line forward at his best, and craziest of all, Nyquist did this at age 34. What he accomplished this year was a feat that nobody could have seen coming even in their wildest dreams, and the Predators were capable of so much more because of how drastically he over-performed relative to expectations.

A lethal top line has been such a rarity for the Predators in their franchise history, and most will argue that they need to keep Nyquist for that reason. But looking at the player himself and the team situation, trading him would make a lot of sense.

First of all, Trotz mentioned a desire to make the team younger this offseason, and Nyquist is one of the older players on the team. Of course, when you have great players you generally keep them, but despite how good of a season Nyquist just had, that should not stop the Predators here.

If we are being real with ourselves, this season was an anomaly for Nyquist based on his previous history. It is hard enough to have a year like he just had at age 34, but to repeat such success at age 35 is even harder, and I just cannot see him repeating the season he just had.

That is not to say Nyquist cannot be a useful player again, but to keep him in hopes that he records another career season or similar would be an optimistic strategy. Not only that, but the Predators might also be leaving assets on the table if they wait to trade him after this offseason.

With the year Nyquist just had, his trade value is the highest it has been in a long time, and if he were to stick around and not be as effective, his value would plummet. If that happened, and the Predators waited to make a decision on him until the 2025 Trade Deadline, there is a real chance they could be kicking themselves, especially if they find themselves being sellers at that point.

It is very questionable that Nyquist can replicate the season he just had, but very probable that he would command a nice return in a trade. We also know that the Predators want to get younger as a team and are still placing an emphasis on the future, so now would be a good time to take advanatge of his value, which may never be that high again.

Preds can go big game hunting with Nyquist trade

Trotz and the Predators could go several different ways in terms of compensation in a potential Nyquist trade. They could of course go the traditional route of draft picks and prospects, which would not be ideal, but is not devoid of logic.

Trotz has been adamant about not sacrificing the future of the team, and draft picks and prospects are assets primarily for the future. They could also be ammo to make a blockbuster trade in the future, so it is not like that type of return does not help the team.

That being said, it would leave the Predators with a huge hole on their top line, and they would likely be back to frequently shuffling the entire lineup. They do not want that to be the case, which is why they should use Nyquist in part of a package to trade for a big time forward.

Trotz still desires to add more offensive talent and firepower, and a great way to do that would be to acquire a younger but proven star forward. Heck, maybe they could also use Juuse Saros to facilitate a trade for a major forward.

There are rumblings that the Predators have shown interest in Mitch Marner, and even though it may not be a realistic way to go, it shows that they could get aggressive in the offseason. There are many other options out there if Marner does not work out and if they offer enough assets, they can get a deal done.

Nyquist is a perfect example of an asset that can help get a deal done. I know it seems tough with how well he did this year, but the chance that he helps fetch a nice return this offseason is much higher than him repeating what he did this season, and hopefully Trotz realizes that now is the right time to move him.