The clock struck midnight on Nino Niederreiter’s NHL season Thursday as the New York Islanders returned the promising Swiss prospect to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.
Niederreiter was returned by the Islanders after a nine game audition, recording one goal and one assist during that span. Had Niederreiter played a 10th game, the first year of his three year entry-level contract would kick in. Niederreiter took the news in stride.
“I had a great experience up here, and I was really happy to be here,” Niederreiter told NHL.com. “I think it’s better to go back to juniors, get a little bit more experience of being a big leader up there. In the end, I think it’s the right decision.”
Niederreiter will join the seventh-ranked team in the CHL and a favourite to capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions.
Winterhawks head coach and general manager Mike Johnston is thrilled to have the fifth overall pick from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft back for what the bench boss describes is his swan song.
“We’re very excited to have Nino coming back, he will provide a big boost to our team,” Johnston told WHL.com. “I had an opportunity to watch most of the games he played with the Islanders and I’m confident he will be there full-time next year.”
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!