My Islanders Account

NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

NIEDERREITER RETURNS TO PORTLAND

Islanders rookie Nino Niederreiter said returning to his junior club, the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, is the right decision

Thursday, 10.28.2010 / 3:13 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
X
Share with your Friends


NIEDERREITER RETURNS TO PORTLAND
After a nine game NHL debut, Islanders 18-year-old rookie forward Nino Niederreiter has been returned to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

“I had a great experience up here, and I was really happy to be here,” Niederreiter said. “I think it’s better to go back to juniors, get a little bit more experience of being a big leader up there. In the end, I think it’s the right decision.”

While the rookie forward was on Long Island, he tallied a lot of firsts, including his very first NHL goal in Washington on Oct. 13, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to score a goal at just 18 years and 35 days. His first NHL assist came eight days later in Tampa Bay.


Following his ninth NHL game Wednesday night in Montreal, Islanders management were forced into making a hard decision of whether it would be more beneficial to keep Niederreiter on Long Island for the remainder of the season or to return him to Portland, where he can develop his skills. If Niederreiter played in a tenth game this season, the first year of his three-year entry-level contract would have kicked in, as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“I think he looked at it as (the decision) could go either way,” said Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. “And really, that’s how we felt the entire time; it could go either way.”

The Islanders had to make the same decision with forwards John Tavares and Josh Bailey in the last two seasons. While both Tavares and Bailey stayed with the Islanders, those instances were in no way a factor in General Manager Garth Snow’s decision on Niederreiter.

And as Gordon emphasized what he'd said into days leading up to Thursday, he noted what was unique about Niederreiter's situation.

“I think he could have success not being on the power play and being in a third line situation,” said Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. “He could work his way into that role, but we already have guys that are playing on the power play that have been successful. It’s not like we’re in a situation where you have a struggling power play and you need someone with some offensive abilities to add to the power play.”

“We still have Rob Schremp that’s not playing, and we’re in the process of trying to work Michael Grabner into the power play,” Gordon continued. “So we do have other options and that’s where it makes it a little bit different than when Josh (Bailey) was here and John (Tavares).  Their ability to get their opportunity on the power play was kind of dictated by circumstances.”

Everyone, including Bailey, knows just how talented Niederreiter is and thinks it will serve him well to get a little extra ice time and seasoning in juniors.

Bailey said he thought Niederreiter would have done fine if he stayed on Long Island, but added, “Obviously I think everyone is happy with the way he played. It’s great to imagine how good he’s going to be in a couple of years seeing the way he was at 18. You think about how good he’s going to be at 21, 22, 23, just coming into his prime. There are a lot of good signs.”

Niederreiter knows that Snow and his coaches were looking at the whole picture, rather than just his performance over the past few months.


“Well, if you think about it, Okie’s (Kyle Okposo) coming back, Hunter is coming back soon too and Schrempie (Rob Schremp), (Michael) Grabner, so it’s a lot of players,” said Niederreiter. “And I’m still young. In the end, I want to be a better player in the future and I think it’s better to get more ice time in juniors and be a better player there.”

This season in Portland, Niederreiter plans to work on all aspects of his game, but said he really wants to hone his offensive skills.

“I mean in the end, definitely the offensive skills,” Niederreiter said. “It’s hard to get scoring opportunities in the NHL. And if you get the puck, you just have to score, and I think that’s the biggest thing you have to learn here.”

After tallying 36 goals and 24 assists for 60 points in the WHL last season, Niederreiter is poised for another great season in Portland who finished third in the Western Conference Finals last season with the Portland Winterhawks. But here on Long Island, fans will look forward to the day when the Swiss powerhouse returns to the Islanders lineup.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 11 6 5 -3 11
K. Okposo 11 2 6 -3 8
F. Nielsen 11 3 3 -3 6
B. Nelson 11 1 4 -5 5
T. Hickey 11 1 4 -5 5
A. Quine 10 1 4 -1 5
S. Prince 11 3 1 -1 4
R. Strome 8 1 3 1 4
N. Leddy 11 1 3 1 4
N. Kulemin 11 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 6 2 .923 2.46
J. Berube 0 0 0 1.000 0.00
Transportation
Pro Shops
Islanders TV
Iceworks
NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use