Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Nino Niederreiter

Nino Niederreiter
Right Wing
208 lbs
Shoots: Left
Born: September 8, 1992
Birthplace: Chur, Switzerland
Acquired: Via trade from the New York Islanders on June 30

As if Chuck Fletcher wasn't already investing a lot in young kids to lead this team for the next decade, he decided to add another to the fold. On draft day, Fletcher sent the popular Cal Clutterbuck and the 70th overall pick to the Islanders for Nino Niederreiter.

Nino was the Islanders 5th overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft (we later discovered that Fletcher coveted Nino very much and would of taken him with the 9th overall pick). They drafted a kid who they were hoping to form a great 1-2 punch with John Tavares. Nino was a force offensively, and the Islanders signed him following the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) season. He played the final nine games with the Islanders.

The next year, the Islanders kept him on the roster but due to lack of performance was pushed down to the fourth line where he played a majority of the season. Yeah, the Islanders valued him so much they kept him on the team to play fourth line minutes.

Nino had requested a trade from the Islanders to begin the 2012-13 season, because of the way he had been handled. The Islanders thought it best to keep him at Bridgeport (AHL) for the whole season, something they should have done in the first place.

Bottomline here is that Nino still has the great offensive talents from when he was drafted. He can still score goals, he still has great hands, and he can make something happen out of nothing. It just didn't show up right away for the Islanders. Rushing him to the NHL did not help his cause either. Now he has a new start and will have a chance to compete for a spot on the NHL roster. And should he not make it, he will get top line minutes in Iowa and will be a call up should the Wild suffer injuries.

The kid needs a second chance. He will get a good one here in Minnesota. Lets hope this trade pays off.

Welcome to the Team of 18,001 Nino Niederreiter!

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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