Nashville Predators are Blazing Hot: Four Unsung Heroes

As one of the NHL's hottest teams, the Preds have some unsung heroes to thank.

Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks
Nashville Predators v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Gustav Nyquist, Nashville Predators
Dec 2, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Gus Nyquist Has Been Great as the Last Piece to Preds Top Line

In the busy 2023 offseason for the Nashville Predators, the pickup of Gustav Nyquist came with little fanfare. He was signed to two years at $3.185 AAV, and kind of went against the full on youth movement that fans thought was coming.

Then there was the speculation of what Nashville's top line would look like with Forsberg and O'Reilly being shoe-ins. After some tinkering in the lineup to open the season, Head Coach Andrew Brunette has stuck with Nyquist being on the top line with Forsberg and O'Reilly.

Nyquist was a 53-point scorer for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a full 82-game campaign in 2021-22, but suffered a setback last season playing in just 51 games and being sent to the Wild for only three games.

It's hard to imagine a top line veteran player being overlooked on the top line, but I do think Nyquist deserves more credit for giving the Predators a stable and productive top line.

Nashville's top line of Forsberg/O'Reilly/Nyquist is 11th among NHL forward lines in Expected Goals. They're coming up on 200 minutes of time on ice together, but there was also brief success with Juuso Parssinen being on the top line with Forsberg and O'Reilly, so it's always possible that when Cody Glass comes back that Brunette goes back to Parssinen at the top.

Either way, Nyquist has proven so far to be a valuable veteran to the lineup and is producing right around his most efficient point pace of his 12-year NHL career.