Mar 20, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; New York Islanders right wing Nino Niederreiter (25) controls the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Islanders beat the Maple Leafs 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Isles Year in Review – Nino Niederreiter #25

This is quite a tough one for me to do.  I am really torn on this.

You will have people that will say that he should NOT have been here this past season.  Since he was 19, he may have been better suited for the WHL and the Portland Winter Hawks.  Islander management aptly said no.  He ended up with just one point in fifty five games.  In a six game stint in the AHL, he scoed three goals and a helper.

Because of his age, he was not allowed to play full time for Bridgeport.  He was allowed to go there for a rehab assignment, and then had to be called back up by the big club.

The issue that I had with Nino, is that he was languished to the fourth line all season.  There were times that I felt that his passion and effort deserved a line promotion for a game or two, but it would not happen.  I guess that is why I am a blogger and not in hockey management.

I figured that being a first round draft pick, that he would have a little more of an opportunity to prove himself.  Instead, he was getting by far the least amount of time per game.  In many instances by 3 or 4 minutes over his fourth line teammates.

I will have to give him a D.  He should have the opportunity to either make this team outright, or get to play some serious time in Bridgeport.  In the latter, he could get 20+ minutes per game, get involved in all stages of the game, and regain the confidence that he so desperately needs.

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