The New York Islanders announced that they signed first round pick Nino Niederreiter to an entry-level contract today. Financial details haven’t been revealed yet, but there’s a rookie maximum anyway, so there are limitations on the kind of money that can be thrown around.
The Islanders selected Niederreiter with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft after completing his rookie season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. While in Portland, Niederreiter played in 65 regular season games, leading the team in goals with 36. He also registered 24 assists for a total of 60 points. In the playoffs, the rookie centerman earned more than a point-per-game when he tallied 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) in 13 games.
According to the Isles GM, Niederreiter will continue working with the Islanders through the remainder of the 2010 Training Camp, hoping to demonstrate his ability to play at the professional level.
Islanders GM Garth Snow landed an interesting group of prospects, including Niederreiter and Brock Nelson in the first round while also taking a chance on talented but troublesome Russian Kirill Kabanov.
Good size and skill. Niederreiter is well developed physically and excels in big games. Rates very high on sheer skill, determination and personality.
There’s plenty of room for young players on Long Island, so you never know, Niederreiter may receive a chance to jump to the NHL right away. Training camp will have a big impact on his chances, so we’ll see what happens.