Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino has agreed to join Italian second division team Hockeyclub Neumarkt-Riwega, according to the team website. The move is believed to make Bonino the first locked-out NHLer to join the Italian hockey federation.
Much like the earlier Erik Condra-to-EV Fussen deal, this is a huge get for the European club. The Italian second division is — how should we put this — hardly a glamorous circuit, and Bonino is fresh off a breakout campaign with the Ducks.
The 24-year-old emerged as a legit regular in the Anaheim lineup last season, posting 5G-13A-18PTS in just 50 games (he also scored 22 points in 19 games for AHL Syracuse.) Following the year, Bonino and the Ducks managed to avoid arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, one-way deal worth $1.4 million.
A former standout at Boston University, Bonino expects to challenge for a full time job in Anaheim’s bottom-six when (or, if) the NHL starts back up.