FRB Top Prospects: #1.5...Nino Neiderreiter

(Brace Hemmelgarn)
Nino Niederreiter, Wing
Minnesota Wild
6'2" 209 Pounds 10/8/1992
Acquired via Trade 6/30/2013

Mea Culpa: We have Nino Neiderreiter at 1.5 because, well, we are terrible at math. In the formulation of our rankings, we ended up with 21 names. And in our attempt to give you readers 110%, we decided to throw Nino into the mix even though he had 60-some games of NHL experience.


We were watching on Draft Day when the news came across the wire that Minnesota had sent fan favorite and restricted free agent Cal Clutterbuck and one of our 2013 3rd Rounders to The Island for former 5th overall pick in 2010 Nino Neiderreiter;  but we didn't know much about him aside from Youtube highlights and the knowledge that The Isles jacked around with his development for the sake of getting to the Salary Cap floor; and because of that, there is now the "Islanders rule" which prevents teams from using phantom bonus money to reach the bare minimum of spending.

He won a Top-6 spot out of Training Camp, and has now ascended to the Top Line in a recent line change under the premise of creating more secondary scoring. It's worked so far; and by using Nino's big body presence (love that term), he, in essence, recreates the sort of strong puck possession ability that Charlie Coyle brought to Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu, and that sort of alchemy made that line truly work; not to knock on Jason Pominville, but the way he plays just doesn't seem to mesh well with the kind of in-tight/small space game that Koivu and Parise succeed by playing.

Neiderreiter does have some warts; he doesn't shoot enough (yet), he can remain static positionally, and he isn't the most fleet of foot; but that being said, he's just 21 and under team control for the next couple of years. It is early, but he looks like another in the line of successful trades Chuck Fletcher has made in his tenure here.

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