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Mini-camp Vital for Niederreiter

Forward is working hard to make an impact on the Islanders next season, starting with summer workouts

Monday, 06.25.2012 / 7:18 PM / News
By Travis Betts
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Mini-camp Vital for Niederreiter

The 2011-12 season was a difficult one for Islanders forward Nino Niederreiter.

After scoring a goal and an assist in nine games in 2010-11, the Chur, SUI native battled injuries and scored only one point (a goal) in 55 games for the Islanders last season. But as Niederreiter will tell you, with adversity comes education.

“At the end of the day, I learned so many things,” Niederreiter said. “I learned how to play in this league. I know what it takes to have an impact on the team. I would definitely say that I got better in the corners, on the walls and my defensive game. It was a difficult year but I learned a lot.”

Part of that learning process was putting in the extra time on the ice after practice with the coaching staff. It was not uncommon to see Niederreiter skating around, doing drills long after everyone else had finished their workouts. Now, he takes that everyday drive to improve his game into Islanders prospect camp, working hard to improve before next season.

“It was just so important for me to get better and better, especially for the season that’s coming up,” Niederreiter said. “In my mind, if I work as hard as possible, and do what I did last year, then I’m going to be a better, stronger player for next season.”

In May, Niederreiter represented Switzerland in the IIHF World Championship Tournament in Finland and Sweden. Despite the Swiss’ poor finish in the tournament, Niederreiter filled an expanded role, averaging almost 17 minutes of ice time in six games. The 19-year-old believes the increased responsibilities on an international stage helped his development.

“I had a chance to be a bigger leader on that team at a young age,” Niederreiter said. “I had a pretty good role. Most of the time I was trying to get a lot of traffic in front of the net and be a gritty and aggressive player, and I think I did it pretty well.”

The Islanders first-round (fifth overall) selection in the 2010 NHL Draft knows that much is expected of him in the future. Niederreiter’s positive attitude and ability to motivate himself has gone a long way with Islanders management.

"Nino has a strong work ethic and desire to become an elite player," General Manager Garth Snow said. "Like all competitors, he's always going to want more ice time and an increased role, which will come as he develops into a top-6 forward."

Niederreiter knows the importance of every opportunity he has to impress the coaching staff, starting with this week at the prospect mini-camp.

“Summer is going to be big,” Niederreiter said. “I’m going to do the workout that [Director of Sports Performance Sean Donellan] put together. It’s good to be here for the week, so he can see how I’m doing and how I’m feeling.”

While Monday was full of physical testing and off-ice workouts for the players, everyone will lace up their skates on Tuesday. Niederreiter knows the technical aspects of his game that he wants to focus on, but he is also on a mission to set himself apart from the pack.

“I want to get faster and I want to be a better skater,” Niederreiter said. “At the end, I can make many things better. I’m just going to try to be the best player at the camp.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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