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Wild coach Yeo sees reasons for optimism with Niederreiter

Aug 11, 2013, 6:19 PM EDT

Nino Niederreiter

Barring an injury, the Minnesota Wild can reasonably count on big offensive contributions from Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu in 2013-14. The bigger question is what they should expect from their younger forwards and among them, perhaps the biggest X-factor is 20-year-old Nino Niederreiter.

Niederreiter was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, but despite his offensive upside and success in the AHL, he wasn’t able to secure a top-six spot with the Islanders and in the end, they traded him to Minnesota over the summer.

“I’m very excited to get a new start and a new opportunity,” Niederreiter told the Wild’s website. “Scoring goals and making the right play in the right situation, that’s kind of my game. I’m a power forward and I’m going to bring that to the table.”

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher thinks that Niederreiter should be able to contribute at the NHL level in the “near future.”

It’s reasonable to assume that Niederreiter will be given a fair chance to win a roster spot with the Wild during training camp. That spot is far from secure, but it helps that Wild coach Mike Yeo already seems very upbeat about Niederreiter.

“I know things didn’t go right for him [with the Islanders], but you can see a lot of things that get you excited as a coach,” Yeo said. “His size, his skating ability, his puck strength and puck-moving ability … I think he’s a guy that’s going to help us play the type of game that we want to play.”

  1. 19inarow - Aug 11, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Working with him is going to require a lot of patience out of his coaches, management, and teammates, but patience is something Nino really needs to work on. That and maturity. Garth Snow likely should have kept him in juniors for another year (when the AHL wasn’t an option), but Snow kept him with the big club, just like Yzerman did with Brett Connolly, who didn’t fair much better. Same with Ryan Johansen. However, Nino likes to dictate where he’s going to play, which he needs to stop doing. He wasn’t traded for a lack of skill or determination, but because Snow wants his team to consist of young men, not old boys. Nino’s an old boy. But I do wish him lots of luck and a good career.

  2. johnwwt1976 - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Big offensive contributions from Koivu?? 48 games 37 points and 5 games in the post season and 0 points!!! Zach had 38 points in 48 games and 1 point in 5 post season games, somehow that’s big offense?????

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:09 AM

      What you happen to fail to mention is how Koivu is a 2 way player. Remind me, how many goals did Conn Smyth Trophy winner Patrick Kane score against the Wild, who was covered by Koivu? I’ll save you the time on looking it up. 0. It wasn’t Koivu either, it was his whole line who also shut down Patrick Kane, who scored as many goals as Kane. 0.

      Just your typical unknowledgeable fan who knows nothing about the Wild other than they probably signed his favorite player from his favorite team.

  3. multiplemiggs - Aug 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    the Wild are awful

  4. johnwwt1976 - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    So Koivu going -6 in 5 games really helped the team?? I really want that 2 way player on my team!! Haha, no chance!!!

  5. johnwwt1976 - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Oh I forgot to mention Koivu’s linemate Zach Parise, he went -7 in 5 games, great job!!!

  6. vstar1us - Aug 12, 2013 at 6:10 AM

    Well the Wild need a lot of work, but I think they can turn it around. Sure they have a few star players that are not playing up to par!
    Koviu at best is a 2nd liner, Zack and Ryan are big timers, they have big contracts and in my thought process only which no one really cares they have three years to bring the Cup to Minnesota if they don’t the window closes.

    I will continue to be a Wild fan my wife loves going to the games and with no kids at home I always have a date.

    Go Wild Go………………………………………………………………..

  7. flydommo - Aug 12, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    The Isles should have been more patient with Niederreiter. This guy has size, a lot of skill and his potential is only just about to be tapped to its max. I bet there will be a lot of regret coming out of Long Island in a year or two over this. Mark my words!

  8. lostpuppysyndrome - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Considering what the Wild let go of to get Niederreiter, pretty sure they came out on top there.

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