|Born||February 14, 1983
Syosset, NY, USA
|6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
|NHL team||Calgary Flames|
|Ntl. team||United States|
|NHL Draft||10th overall, 2002
|Playing career||2005 – present|
Eric Nystrom (born February 14, 1983 in Syosset, New York) is an American ice hockey left winger for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was a first round selection by the Flames, 10th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons of college hockey with the Michigan Wolverines before turning pro in 2005. He is the son of former NHL player Bob Nystrom.
His father Bob, born in Sweden but grew up in Western Canada, was an NHL player for the New York Islanders at the time, and won four consecutive Stanley Cups between 1980 and 1983. He attended high school at Portledge School in Locust Valley, New York. He has an older sister, Marissa. Nystrom grew up playing several sports, including soccer and baseball, and only seriously considered a hockey career in his mid-teens. While Eric was regarded as an NHL prospect himself, his father encouraged him to seek an education first, which the younger Nystrom did upon earning a scholarship to play for the University of Michigan Wolverines in 2000. He spent four years at Michigan where he earned a degree in Liberal Arts.
Nystrom established a gritty, hard working style similar to his father's which helped earn him an invite to play with the US National Development Program (USDP). He played 55 games for USDP in the North American Hockey League in 1999–2000, scoring seven goals and 23 points. He split the 2000–01 season with the national under-18 program and the junior team in the United States Hockey League, also representing the United States at the 2001 IIHF World U18 Championships. He later represented the United States at the 2002 and 2003 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
He moved onto the University of Michigan, earning a place on the Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie team in 2002 after scoring 18 goals and 31 points. On the strength of that season, the Calgary Flames selected him with their first pick, 10th overall, at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Before turning professional, Nystrom completed his final three seasons of college eligibility, finishing with 111 points in 160 career games, and serving as the Wolverines' captain in his senior year of 2004–05.
Upon turning professional in 2005, Nystrom was assigned to the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights of the American Hockey League (AHL). He was quickly recalled by the Flames at the start of the 2005–06 season, and made his NHL debut against the Colorado Avalanche on October 10, 2005. He played two games with the Flames before being returned to the AHL to complete the season. Nystrom missed most of the 2006–07 after suffering a tear in his right shoulder during a pre-season game. He attempted to rehab the injury and then play, before opting on surgery. The injury limited Nystrom to just 12 regular season games for Omaha, but he returned in time to play five playoff games for the Knights.
Nystrom split the 2007–08 season between the Calgary and the Quad City Flames. He appeared in 44 regular season games for Calgary, and scored his first NHL goal on October 30, 2007 against the Nashville Predators. He scored a career high four points, two goals and two assists, in the Flames final game of the regular season, a 7–1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. While with Quad City, he famously performed an on-ice striptease that mimicked the one performed by the character Ned Braden in the movie Slap Shot as part of a team jersey auction. The event raised $30,000 for charity. Following the season, he signed a two-year contract extension with the Flames.
Nystrom played his first full NHL season with the Flames in 2008–09, playing in 76 games and scoring five goals, three of them game winning goals. He added a fourth game winning goal in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks. He has also become a player ambassador for the Reading... Give it a Shot! program, where he visits local schools as part of the Flames campaign to increase literacy amongst students.
|1999–00||US Junior National Team||NAHL||55||7||16||23||57||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||US Junior National Team||USDP||23||5||5||10||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||University of Michigan Wolverines||CCHA||39||18||12||30||36||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||University of Michigan Wolverines||CCHA||39||15||11||26||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||University of Michigan Wolverines||CCHA||43||10||12||22||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||University of Michigan Wolverines||CCHA||38||13||19||32||33||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights||AHL||78||15||18||33||37||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights||AHL||12||2||0||2||0||5||0||0||0||2|
|2007–08||Quad City Flames||AHL||18||4||3||7||15||—||—||—||—||—|
|Calgary Flames first round draft pick