Nino Niederreiter won’t be going to the New York Islanders’ annual prospects camp, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
The camp, highlighted by the Orange and Blue scrimmage on July 11, is set to feature a number of the club’s highly-touted draftees, including Griffin Reinhart (fourth overall, 2012 NHL Entry Draft), Ryan Strome (fifth overall, 2011), Brock Nelson (30th overall, 2010) and Scott Mayfield (34th overall, 2011).
Niederreiter — the fifth overall pick in 2010 — won’t be there.
According to Staple, the 20-year-old Swiss power forward wasn’t required to attend this years’ camp. Once a prospect has participated three times, they’re given the choice to accept or decline.
So, that’s the preface before reading too much into the situation.
But people will still probably read into it, because the relationship between Niederreiter and the Isles hasn’t exactly been harmonious.
Despite appearing in 55 games during the 2011-12 season and impressing the team during ’13 training camp, he was sent to AHL Bridgeport to start this season.
Shortly after his demotion, reports surfaced that Niederreiter was demanding a trade out of Long Island, to which GM Garth Snow responded by saying “Nino has never told me that he’s unhappy,” adding the club had no intention of dealing him.
In late January, Niederreiter spoke to PHT about not getting a shot to stick with the Isles:
“It was really frustrating. I had a really tough season last year. I wasn’t playing much, I played low minutes and obviously it wasn’t the game I wanted to play. I still learned a lot, I was really happy to have that chance to play a full season in the NHL already.
“This summer I was working hard and I was trying to prepare myself for the next chance and it was frustrating I didn’t get the chance but that’s out of my control.”
Niederreiter ended up spending the entire year in the American League, and didn’t dress once for the Isles.
That said, he did play well for Bridgeport this season, scoring 28G-22A-50PTS in 74 games while being selected for his first-ever AHL All-Star Game.