25 June 2010
With the 5th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Islanders surprised everyone by passing up on top-ranked defenseman Cam Fowler to pick Nino Niederreiter, a right winger from the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. According to an NHL.com poll, among the forwards that were selected in the first round, Nino has the most potential. He led Portland with 36 goals in the 2009-10 season, becoming the first Winterhawk with 30-plus goals since 2004-05. His goal total was second among all Western Hockey League rookies and his six game-winning goals tied for the league lead among rookies. For his efforts he was selected to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star team. He also represented Switzerland at the 2010 World Junior Championship, leading the team with 10 points in seven games. He’s a dynamic playmaker and just what the Islanders need offensively. I see Nino fitting on the Isles’ third or fourth offensive line on opening night.
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