Two former University of Maine hockey standouts have joined new National Hockey League franchises.
Right wing Gustav Nyquist, who last season was traded by the Detroit Red Wings to the San Jose Sharks, has signed a four-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and defenseman Dan Renouf has left the Carolina Hurricanes organization to become a member of the Colorado Avalanche organization.
Renouf signed a two-year contract with the Avalanche.
Renouf played for the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup champion Charlotte Checkers last season.
Nyquist, a native of Malmo, Sweden, is coming off his most productive NHL season. He registered a career-high 60 points in 81 games between the Red Wings and the Sharks.
Nyquist, who turns 30 on Sept. 1, posted 22 goals and a career-best 38 assists. He had 16 goals and 33 assists in 62 games with the Red Wings, and six goals and five assists in 19 contests with the Sharks.
He then collected 11 points (1 goal, 10 assists) in 20 playoff games to help the Sharks reach the Western Conference finals.
The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Nyquist has scored 131 goals and tallied 175 assists for 306 points in 500 career NHL games. He has collected at least 40 points in all six of his full NHL seasons, notching 20 or more goals four times.
He has 34 power-play goals and 42 assists with the man advantage during his career.
Nyquist finished with 50 goals and 94 assists in 131 career games at UMaine and was the nation’s leading scorer (19 & 42) during the 2009-10 season. He was an All-American and two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist.
In Columbus, he will be playing for playing for former Black Bears winger John Tortorella.
“Gustav Nyquist is a skilled, fast, two-way player who will be a great addition to our club both on and off the ice. He is a talented playmaker with a versatile game who has been extremely durable throughout his career,” Columbus General Manager Jarmo Keklalainen said in a story on the Blue Jackets NHL.com website.
The former fourth-round draft pick of the Red Wings won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships. He earned a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics and a bronze at the 2014 IIHF World Championships.
“Columbus was always one of the teams I was looking at. They’re a team that has some really good young players and some really good veteran players and leadership, so I think that’s a good mix,” Nyquist told NHL.com.
The Blue Jackets swept Tampa Bay, which had the best regular-season record, in the first round of the playoffs before losing in the second round in six games to Stanley Cup finalist Boston.
Nyquist felt he had a good season but noted he still has room for improvement.
“I’m really excited to play with some really, really good players in Columbus. That is going to help me develop even more,” he said.
Renouf (6-4, 198) played three seasons at UMaine, collecting 10 goals and 28 assists in 111 career games. He tallied a career-best six goals and 15 points his junior year (2015-16) before signing a free-agent contract with the Red Wings.
Renouf, 25, spent two seasons with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and notched five goals and 23 assists in 140 games. He helped them win the Calder Cup in 2017.
The Pickering, Ontario, native also appeared in one game for the Red Wings.
He was not offered offered a contract by the Red Wings after the 2017-18 season, so he signed a two-way contract with Carolina. Renouf provided two goals and 22 assists in 74 games for the Checkers to play a role in their championship run.