Last summer the Wild moved fan-favorite Cal Clutterbuck and their 2013 third round draft pick to the Islanders in exchange for a former first round pick who failed to develop as the Isles had hoped, Nino Niederreiter.
Niederretier was picked fifth overall in the 2010 draft. Between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons he played 64 games on Long Island, scoring two goals and an assist. The numbers didn’t look great, but a lot of that was usage. He was relegated to a tough role and many speculated that he was brought into the league before he was ready. Reports indicated that Niederreiter wasn’t happy in New York and the team left him in the AHL for the entire 2012-13 season after having him play 55 games in the NHL the season before. It wasn’t a ideal situation for Niederreiter.
One year into this trade, it looks like the Wild may have gotten the best of the Isles. Clutterbuck played good minutes and is a nice role player for New York and it’s pretty early to see how 19-year-old goaltender Eamon McAdam develops, the player the Islanders selected with the draft pick acquired from Minnesota, but Niederreiter was two points shy of doubling Clutterbuck’s points.
Nino finished third on the team in goals and sixth in points (14-22-36). He played a key role for the Wild as the team battled injuries midseason and looked to have an effective third and fourth line when the team was healthy — something the Wild didn’t have in the 2012-13 season when they lost in the first round of the playoffs.
As a Wild fan you like to see your team “win” a trade, but in truth something wasn’t working between Niederreiter and the Islanders, so the Islanders probably improved their team through the trade even though the Wild appear to have gotten the better player. Nonetheless, it’s amusing to see quotes on the trade from Islanders general manager and perennial punching bag Garth Snow, who said of the trade, “For us, it’s immediate help.”
Nino has become an integral part of the team, a part that general manager Chuck Fletcher has said he’s open to signing long-term.
Oh, and then there was that big goal he scored. You know, that goal.
#2 10/24/14 vs. Carolina Hurricanes CAR 1 – MIN 3
Niederreiter from Mikael Granlund, back when we weren’t sure if either of them would stay in St. Paul or head to Iowa.
#3 11/01/13 vs. Montreal Canadiens MTL 3 – MIN 4
Great feed from Granlund, but you have to assume that Granlund meant to feed Pominville, because that’s what he does.
#4 11/19/13 vs. Montreal Canadiens MIN 2 – MTL 6
Video missing from the site (the link for this goal plays a different goal). Nobody’s perfect.
#5 11/23/13 vs. Winnipeg Jets MIN 3 – WPG 2 (SO)
Nino picking up the garbage around the net. He had a great opening to the season.
#6 12/14/13 vs. Colorado Avalanche MIN 2 – COL 1 (SO)
#7 12/19/13 vs. New York Islanders NYI 5 – MIN 4
I’ll say this again during our “every goal” series: If you think Koivu doesn’t add anything to this team, you aren’t watching the same games I’m watching.
#8 01/04/14 vs. Washington Capitals WSH 3 – MIN 5
#9 01/07/14 vs. Los Angeles Kings MIN 2 – LAK 1 (SO)
Are you getting excited about what he’s going to do this season yet?
#10 02/04/14 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning TBL 1 – MIN 2
The more of these I watch, the more I think Niederreiter has a little bit of Zach Parise in his game.
#11 02/06/14 vs. Nashville Predators NSH 2 – MIN 3 (OT)
Just an average OT goal from Kyle Brodziak. Nothing like that will probably never happen again.
#12 03/13/14 vs. New York Rangers NYR 1 – MIN 2
Ok, so Brodziak assisted Niederreiter again on this one, but that’s surely the last time they’ll connect this season.
#13 #10 03/26/14 vs. Vancouver Canucks VAN 5 – MIN 2
#14 04/10/14 vs. St. Louis Blues STL 2 – MIN 4
Niederreiter getting physical in front of the net for his final regular season goal.
#15 04/30/14 vs. Colorado Avalanche MIN 5 – COL 4 (OT)
Niederreiter’s first career postseason goal is fantastic. Great shot from a wide angle to beat Semyon Varlamov. He’ll probably never do anything like that again.
#16 04/10/14 vs. Colorado Avalanche MIN 5 – COL 4 (OT)
If Niederreiter never played another game in a Wild sweater, he’d go down in franchise history for this one. His second of the night past Varlamov, looking a lot like the first, except for the part where Brodziak jumps up and down like a little kid.
#17 05/09/14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks CHI 2 – MIN 4
Niederreiter gets the game-winner here, the final postseason win for Minnesota.