Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork was first to report the news: Nino Niederreiter, a talented young forward on the New York Islanders’ payroll wants out.
He was drafted fifth overall in 2010, and spent time with the Islanders almost immediately. He played nine games in 2010-11, before being sent back to junior, as the Islanders didn’t want to burn a year of his entry-level deal, which they would’ve done had he hit 10 games. The next season he stayed up for the year (55 games in all) and struggled mightily (to go with a terrible run of shooting luck), tallying only a single goal.
This season, it seemed, Niederreiter had finally found his stride. In 39 AHL games (AHL-plus, really, given the amount of NHLers that were down there), he ran up 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points. The problem, you see, is that he’s still in the AHL, which has to be frustrating for a player ready to be in The Bigs who still can’t get the call despite being in the Islanders system.
Here’s what Strang wrote today:
His agent informed Islanders general manager Garth Snow of the request last week, the source said, although Snow is not believed to be amenable to doing a deal — at least at the moment.
There has been growing concern about Niederreiter’s development since last season. Although the young prospect appeared in 55 games for the Islanders, he was used in a limited role. He managed only one goal, causing many to feel he’d be better off playing in Bridgeport and to speculate that the team could be keeping him around for cap purposes (i.e. his entry-level contract bonuses helped the team hover slightly above the cap floor).
During the lockout, Niederreiter began the year in Bridgeport and has flourished, leaving him and his camp baffled as to why he didn’t get a chance to crack the roster.
In a nutshell, Niederreiter was miffed at not being invited to main camp – and why the frack wouldn’t he be, he was on the team the year before – and has finally had enough of being jerked around.
It’s tough to trade a guy who clearly wants out, as the Coyotes learned with Kyle Turris, but it seems like at some point, this has to happen. Terrible, terrible news for Islanders fans.