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Niederreiter declines to attend Isles prospect camp

Jun 19, 2013, 2:43 PM EDT

Nino Niederreiter Getty Images

Nino Niederreiter won’t be going to the New York Islanders’ annual prospects camp, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

The camp, highlighted by the Orange and Blue scrimmage on July 11, is set to feature a number of the club’s highly-touted draftees, including Griffin Reinhart (fourth overall, 2012 NHL Entry Draft), Ryan Strome (fifth overall, 2011), Brock Nelson (30th overall, 2010) and Scott Mayfield (34th overall, 2011).

Niederreiter — the fifth overall pick in 2010 — won’t be there.

According to Staple, the 20-year-old Swiss power forward wasn’t required to attend this years’ camp. Once a prospect has participated three times, they’re given the choice to accept or decline.

So, that’s the preface before reading too much into the situation.

But people will still probably read into it, because the relationship between Niederreiter and the Isles hasn’t exactly been harmonious.

Despite appearing in 55 games during the 2011-12 season and impressing the team during ’13 training camp, he was sent to AHL Bridgeport to start this season.

Shortly after his demotion, reports surfaced that Niederreiter was demanding a trade out of Long Island, to which GM Garth Snow responded by saying “Nino has never told me that he’s unhappy,” adding the club had no intention of dealing him.

In late January, Niederreiter spoke to PHT about not getting a shot to stick with the Isles:

“It was really frustrating. I had a really tough season last year. I wasn’t playing much, I played low minutes and obviously it wasn’t the game I wanted to play. I still learned a lot, I was really happy to have that chance to play a full season in the NHL already.

“This summer I was working hard and I was trying to prepare myself for the next chance and it was frustrating I didn’t get the chance but that’s out of my control.”

Niederreiter ended up spending the entire year in the American League, and didn’t dress once for the Isles.

That said, he did play well for Bridgeport this season, scoring 28G-22A-50PTS in 74 games while being selected for his first-ever AHL All-Star Game.

  1. bcisleman - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Nino may simply be making the not so subtle point that he doesn’t consider himself a prospect anymore.

    Two thoughts: Wang is down on disloyalty and may have been annoyed at the trade demand AND Streiter was a real mentor for Nino and now he’s gone. Nino might be used to get Ryan or Bernier OR to pry away the #4 pik from the Preds. Isles, who will soon be headed to Brooklyn with its large Russian emigre population, might then draft the big Russian F Nichuskin. They might also move up their 15 pik and grab the other big Russian Zadorov.

  2. islesjb - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Nino for Bernier looking a little better now?

    Kid has talent and I would have loved for him to be a regular contributor but he’s really starting to come across as an over-entitled brat. He’s right in that he didn’t get top line minutes during his NHL season but what happened to earning your minutes?

    As a fan, this is incredibly frustrating since he had such a great year in the AHL. This is his year to prove during camp that he deserves top 6 minutes and he starts it off by not bothering to show up. Trade his whiny ass. He will fetch a nice return and we have enough offensive talent in the NHL and in the pipeline.

    • jl9830 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      You’re making a lot of assumptions here, IslesJB. If I remember correctly, neither Okposo nor Bailey went to their third prospect camps, and Tavares didn’t go to his second. This happens all the time. This is not “incredibly frustrating” for fans.

      He’s still under contract, and scored 28 goals as a 20-year old in the AHL. I’m not giving that up so easily. I’d consider a straight-up swap for Bernier, but probably wouldn’t do it, and would instead sign a free agent or give up less. Having depth in the pipeline doesn’t mean you give up your premier players, which Nino is. There’s a great chance none of these prospects ever gets to Nino’s level. Like it or not, he’s a top-5 pick with high-end goal scoring ability.

      • jl9830 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        Give up less for another goalie, I mean. Of course I’d willingly choose to give up less for Bernier if possible, lol.

      • islesjb - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        his Agent basically said that he wanted to be traded after not getting a nod for the NHL last season. That wasn’t the case with JT, Bailey or Okposo. He’s also complained about being a healthy scratch during his NHL season.

        His camp (not exactly him directly) has shown that he wants out of LI. Him not showing up for camp when it’s time for him to prove himself is frustrating for this fan. Maybe there’s another reason for it, but it doesn’t look good.

        As I said, I would like Nino to be part of the future but he’s shown many signs that he doesn’t want to be. That’s why I say trade him.

  3. hockey412 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Trade him, de Haan, and the first round pick to the Pens for Letang. Sucks to trade inside the conference, but ‘eh’.

    • 19to77 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Why? They need to IMPROVE their goals-against average, not run it into the ground.

      • hockey412 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Because with Streit gone, they are left with Visnovsky to move the puck up ice, and he turns 57 this year. Some talented D-men on the way, but there’s a gap in puck moving D-men. If those guys don’t develop they lose the momentum they gained this year. Matter of fact, make it two first rounders, de Haan, and Nino.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        despite the hyperbole, he is right in a sense, lubo is old and injury prone too and there’s a big gap after him (is Donovan ready yet?, Reinhart isnt a puck mover, de Haun might be ready but he’s always hurt, and Hickey got exposed this year). its not the ideal situation for pens to trade letang to an up and coming islanders and i doubt the islanders are willing to resign him at 7 mill per year either.

    • hazlydose - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Pens are going to want a NHL calibre defenseman for Letang. The last thing they need is a defensive prospect.

      • hockey412 - Jun 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM

        The problem is they need a #1 D man. You aren’t going to trade Letang and get that, and also get picks, or prospects, etc.. They have enough D3 or D4 guys. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I’m all for getting someone with a high trade value and then making a separate deal as opposed to someone that has proven to be more of what they already have (i.e. I don’t want them to make a trade for “depth”).

    • jpelle82 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      pens dont need de haun – they have enough d prospects

      • hockey412 - Jun 20, 2013 at 8:02 AM

        They have a lot of D prospects – but just like Joe Morrow, no one has any idea how they are going to develop. I actually just said de Haan because I don’t think Shero’s going to be able to get as much as people act like he will for Letang…I do not see him getting a top 4, AND a pick, AND a prospect. It’s possible he gets a top 4 and two picks (not necessarily both first round), or two prospects and a pick, but I seriously don’t see him getting much more. It’s not that I don’t think Letang’s worth it, it’s that I see a lot of value in what other teams are giving up.

  4. travishenryskid - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    This certainly says something about his work ethic and commitment. We have GMs around the league talking about how they want their players to train all year round like individual sport athletes do, and this kid doesn’t even want to show up to a team event. This kid is going to bust.

  5. tjvalley - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I feel niño will one day be a good power forward in the NHL, but as much as we need size and grit up front, we need bernier more. I think it’s going to be niño and a second round pick for jonathon bernier.

    • 19to77 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      It’ll be steeper than that. Bernier’s had several years’ experience as a quality backup verging on starterdom and Nino’s struggled to crack the Islanders roster despite being touted as one of their brightest prospects. I imagine it would have to be Nino and their 1st.

      • hockey412 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        For a backup? No way you’d get a first rounder and a top prospect for a goaltender that is unproven (i.e. just a prospect himself).

      • islesjb - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        He’s a very sought after backup who is a former first round draft pick who a lot of people (scouts & kings fans alike) think can be a legit NHL starter. Whoever lands him will have to overpay. I would be comfortable with Nino and a first.

      • jl9830 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        I don’t get why you’re so comfortable with OVERpaying, JB. It’s called “over”paying for a reason. When other options are available, why overpay for one that’s not even a safe bet? Doesn’t make too much sense. If the deal is reasonable, Bernier makes sense on LI. But with teams ready to overpay, I’d let them, and instead walk away with as good or better of a goalie with my farm system intact.

      • 19to77 - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        You make a solid point, I have to admit. It begs the question, though, who do you target instead? Mike Smith wants way more than he’s worth, particularly considering every goalie looks better in Phoenix. Backstrom’s getting up there in years and his numbers are declining. Luongo’s contract runs until time stops. There are major knocks against every UFA option out there.

      • jl9830 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM

        Actually, Smith is definitely my first choice. Two of his last three seasons have been excellent, and he nearly single-handedly had the Coyotes in the Western Conference finals last season. He’d probably come for 2 years and $8-10M. I’d sign that contract. I’d also consider dealing for Jonas Hiller, who would cost less in prospects than Bernier and has a solid chance of outplaying him.

      • islesjb - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        I’m comfortable with overpaying because I think the best thing for the isles is a long term #1 goalie. I know your stance that goalies are risky but I’d rather take the risk on one of the few available potential young #1 goalies than acquire a Mike Smith type that will only be good for the next couple of years. I seem the framework that this team has and know that the major missing piece in net is a long term goalie. I like what I hear about Bernier and think he can be that answer.

        I want a team built to win for a decade and I think that is close to being attainable.

      • islesjb - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM

        And if he turned out being a bust I don’t think losing Nino and a draft pick would be crippling for the future.

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