Eric Nystrom Season Review: DJ Two4 Exceeds Expectations among 2013 Free Agent Classmates

Preds forward Eric Nystrom celebrates a goal against the Calgary Flames on January 24, 2014. - Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Nye stood out as the most pleasantly surprising overachiever of all the offseason moves Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile made in 2013.

The Stats

GP Goals Assists Points +/- PIM Shoot %
79 15 6 21 -25 60 12.5
5-5 Pts/60 CF% CF% rel Sh% Sv% PDO Pen +/- per 60
1.14 46.10% -3.4% 7.00% 89.30% 96.2 +0.4

Season Summary

Eric Nystrom played up and down the lineup throughout the season as recently-departed head coach Barry Trotz threw lots of spaghetti against the wall, trying to get some kind of offensive chemistry to stick. To that end, Nystrom demonstrated a surprising amount of versatility. But he spent most of his time in checking and energy roles, which may have contributed to the impression that he overachieved. He matched a career high in points, and missed his career-high 16 goals by a single tally.

Highlight Moment

More than any individual moment, the highlight of Nystrom's first season in Nashville was without doubt the night of January 24, 2014, when he potted four goals against the Calgary Flames. Sadly, the rest of the team failed to show up that night, and Nye's four markers weren't enough to overpower the Flames' comeback OT victory.

On a personal note, too, we appreciated exchanging tweets with him about his offensive production last fall.

The Road Ahead

The Predators have Nystrom inked to another three seasons, each of which will carry a $2.5 million cap hit. Given today's news that the Nashville Predators have signed new head coach Peter Laviolette, an offense-focused coach with a Stanley Cup ring, to a multi-year deal, Nystrom's future with the organization may seem blurred, especially with so many forward prospects waiting in the wings. Because he proved himself to be an adaptable player, however, not to mention a leadership voice in the locker room, it's likely that the Preds will continue to rely on Nystrom's services going forward.

OTF Staff Grades

Dirk C
Jon B
Jason B
George C
Jeremy B-
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