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Hockey Wilderness
  • Niederreiter Has Raised the Bar


    His scouting report looked something like this:

    Obviously, with the Islanders, he had a difficult time living up to the hype. Inconsistent play, difficulty adjusting to the NHL, and unhappiness with the franchise that drafted him all contributed to him being available last June.

    Wild assistant GM Brent Flahr weighed in with his thoughts on Niederreiter after the trade happened, "He was a bigtime prospect who deserved to be drafted where he was. He's 20 years old. He stepped into the league and he wasn't ready. Last year he was a very good in the American Hockey League and led their team in scoring in the first half. Obviously he was a little frustrated and I don't all the details behind that. I think they asked for a change in scenery." "He's a big body, can really shoot the puck and plays a power game, but he's also a goal scorer. He projects out to be a top-6 forward with size and scoring ability, which is what we're looking for. We had to pay a price in Clutter, who was a popular guy and physical impact. But to get a potential scoring winger, they're hard to come by."



    It would be tough to tell if the Wild brass had seen this coming from Niederreiter. He played 16 impactful minutes in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals. He scored his second game-winning goal in the 2014 playoffs, tying former Wild player, Wes Walz, for most playoff game-winning goals in franchise history.

    El Nino's presence is getting noticed. Michael Russo tweeted this out comparing him to Clutterbuck:


    And this came from SB Nation Main NHL hub writer, Adam Gretz:


    What you're witnessing is the real coming of age of many of the kids that will shape the future of this Wild franchise. From Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, and now Nino Niederrieter, that 2010 draft class is paying huge dividends for the Wild. The best part of the long playoff run that the Wild are on is that these kids are learning about what it takes to win games in the playoffs. "He raised the bar," Yeo said. "So he's got himself in trouble now because this is what we expect." "Those are the moments you dream about as a kid," Niederreiter said.


    Quotes were pulled from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, mynhldraft.com, and Fox Sports - North


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