Looking At Nino Niederreiter’s Impending Free Agency

With a strong group of free agent forwards including the likes of Johnny Gaudreau, Evgeni Malkin, Filip Forsberg, Claude Giroux, Phil Kessel, Ondrej Palat, Valeri Nichushkin, Andre Burakovsky amongst others, teams that are looking to add some production up front don’t have to look too far for a worthy candidate. One name that seemingly hasn’t been at the forefront thus far is Nino Niederreiter of the Carolina Hurricanes. Once a blue-chip prospect and fifth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, Niederreiter’s career fell on hard-times rather quickly. The forward was fine in his NHL debut in 2010-11, recording two points in nine games, but struggled to an abysmal one goal and zero assists in 55 games as a rookie in 2011-12. He would spend all of 2012-13 in the AHL before being traded to the Minnesota Wild ahead of the 2013-14 season.

After being traded to the Wild, Niederreiter began to show why the Islanders made him the fifth-overall selection, establishing himself as a power-forward and a reliable goal scorer at that. Since then, Niederreiter has played parts of nine seasons split between the Wild and the Hurricanes, hitting the 20-goal mark six times in that span. In 2021-22, his age-29 season, Niederreiter had one of his best seasons for the Metropolitan Division winning Hurricanes, putting up 24 goals and 20 assists in 75 games. Now almost 30-years-old, Niederreiter finds himself set to be an UFA for the first time in his career at the conclusion of a five-year, $26.25MM contract.

Author: Lucy Green