The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/23/14 at 09:26 PM ET
So I wrote this on Twitter, and I think it's important to relate to you.
So I'm at the Wings' summer camp in 2010, and Nyquist is there. He's absolutely scrawny, not Jarnkrok or Daniel Larsson scrawny, but close. 5'10," 160 pounds.
Very seriously, this kid, who's been growing up in Sweden, and has a pronounced accent, says he's gonna play college hockey at Maine. Says the language issue won't be a problem.
He's not exactly giving me the Riley Sheahan, "Aww shucks" or the Tomas Tatar, "I must break into this league" death stare, but he's confident that he'll do fine.
Kid does well at Maine but everybody says he's too short and too slight. Kid does great academically at Maine but you still hear the same thing.
Instead of the usual, "These guys won't bulk up" talk, the Wings' brass said that Nyquist was getting bigger and stronger, working hard, looked good.
Everybody said he was the Wings' secret weapon.
Got buried in Grand Rapids for too long, we all know it, but he's quietly, confidently and simply patiently waited things out--he was OK with the concept of going to GR at camp, though he wasn't thrilled about it, it kind of rolled off his back like water off a goose's--and now all the hard work he's put in over the past half-decade is paying off.
The moral of the Nyquist story: even for extremely talented prospects, it takes time and a lot of hard work. Those who embrace it succeed. It's a process, it's embracing a lifestyle, it's not just showing up. Nyquist has worked for everything he's got. Talent is only part of it.
People ask why I'm high on Mantha. Because he talked like Nyquist. Lots of, "I have to work on this" acknowledgments of his deficiencies.
The Wings like to point at Zetterberg/Datsyuk as examples for players because they *still work* on stuff in practice, still try to improve.
They're the examples of how hard you have to work to succeed--and now Nyquist is another member of that exclusive club.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.