El Nino Storms Into Long Island

Nino Niederreiter (Portland Winterhawks/Flickr)

And with the 5th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders proudly select Nino Niederreiter…

Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Erik Gudbranson and Ryan Johansen were picked prior to “El Nino” in that order. Cam Fowler was still available at the 5th pick, and many fans were starting to get excited about the possibility of drafting one of the most top-rated defenseman. However he dropped out of the top-10 and ended up being chosen by the Anaheim Ducks with the 12th overall selection.

If Fowler was passed on by the four teams before the Islanders, as well as six more that followed, there has to be a reason. Fans should have faith in the team’s scouting staff as they have done an excellent job since Garth Snow was named General Manager.

Nino Niederreiter (Portland Winterhawks/Flickr)

Nino Niederreiter is a 6’2 left wing that weighs in around 205 pounds. He adds size to the Islanders line-up at the forward position and may continue to grow at the age of 17. He turns 18 this September. In 65 games played with the WHL Portland Winterhawks, Nino posted 36 goals, 24 assists and 60 points. He amassed 68 PIMs and was a strong performer in their playoff run as well, scoring 16 points in 13 games played, an even 8 goals and 8 assists. He also led the league with six game-winning goals scored by a rookie. Internationally, the Swiss sniper led his team in the World Junior Championships with 10 points, scoring 6 goals and 4 assists in 7 games played. He was named to the all-star team in the tournament as well.

Although anything is possible, Isles fans should expect him back in the WHL for at least another year since he only has one season under his belt with the Portland Winterhawks. After a few years of development, Niederreiter may develop into a dominant power-forward. He is known for his quick hands, creativity and reliable two-way play.

For a prospect profile on Niederreiter, check out this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NttaHPDiOU4

The first round has yet to conclude, allowing a possible scenario involving the Islanders and another team completing a trade in which they grab another late first round pick. If this were to happen, I was personally hoping for the Isles to find a way to snag the hard-hitting blue liner, Dylan McIlrath…leave it to the New York Rangers to take that possibility away from me.  For now, El Nino is the Isles sole first round choice; a solid one at that.

3 thoughts on “El Nino Storms Into Long Island”

  1. great selection by the isles. nino will definitely add size and skill in the top 6 and i cant wait to see him in a few years!

  2. Isles had good first round–We have been all “spoiled” up to a few years ago with the Isles going off the charts, making stupid trades and not listening to their scouts.. Both kids picked last night were right there in the rankings so no complaints–Scouting reports on both look great, but they must grow the next few years to see if this was worth the pick, as all the others teams must wait too(other then first 2 picks maybe) Our propects from a few years back are starting to show some promise so i think our scouts are starting to show some of their expertise–Id love to see if this russian kid Petrov, is the real deal and if he is, sign him to start his career in the AHL—Exciting times for the Isles next year as we should improve again–Now if we could only find a good place to play in

  3. I think when we look back at this 2010 Draft in 6 or 7 years we’ll see that only about a third of those chosen in the 1st round are actually playing in the NHL. I was really surprised ( a bit disappointed) we passed over Folwer Gormley and Connolly for El Nino. (and I didnt even want Gormley) I’m also not Happy that we traded both our 2nd rd picks for another Minnesota Highschool kid with question marks who is at least 4 yrs away form the NHL. McIlrath would have been a good choice 6 to 10 picks lower but at #10 hes a Big gamble. I cant see using the #10 pick in the draft on someone who may turn out to nothing more than 4th line goon ( yes he plays “D”) in a league that is trying its best to rid itself of such players. Enough of that, we have problems of our own to iron out. Such as, Why didnt we address our defensive issues?

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