Matt Niskanen

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Matt Niskanen
Matt Niskanen 1 2012-03-11.JPG
Niskanen with the Penguins in 2012.
Born (1986-12-06) December 6, 1986 (age 27)
Virginia, MN, USA
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 204 lb (93 kg; 14 st 8 lb)
Position Defense
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Pittsburgh Penguins
Dallas Stars
National team  United States
NHL Draft 28th overall, 2005
Dallas Stars[1]
Playing career 2007–present

Matthew Norman Niskanen (born December 6, 1986) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman of Finnish origin who is currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the National Hockey League. He was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the first round, 28th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing career[edit]

Amateur career[edit]

Niskanen attended the University of Minnesota Duluth. In 2005–06, his freshman season on the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs hockey team, he recorded 14 points in 38 games. Before that, Niskanen played for the Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl boy's hockey team and helped bring the Blue Devils to their first state high school tournament appearance. During 2006–07, his sophomore season on the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs hockey team, he recorded nine goals and twenty-two assists in thirty-nine games. Niskanen was named to the 2006–2007 All WCHA First Team,[2] and the All WCHA academic Team.[3]

Niskanen decided to leave college and turn pro after his sophomore season at UMD.[4] On March 19, 2007, he signed an amateur tryout contract with the Iowa Stars for the rest of the season; he later signed a three-year NHL contract with the Dallas Stars which began in 2007–08. He subsequently made the Stars' 2007–08 roster out of training camp.

Professional career[edit]

Niskanen made his NHL regular season debut against the Colorado Avalanche on October 3, 2007. He recorded his first NHL points against the Boston Bruins two nights later with two assists. His first NHL goal came on October 29, 2007 against the San Jose Sharks. Niskanen had an excellent rookie start with the Stars, leading the team in plus/minus at mid-season, which resulted in his being invited to the Young Stars game during the 2008 NHL All-Star weekend.

On February 21, 2011 Niskanen was traded along with teammate James Neal to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenseman Alex Goligoski.[5]

On March 4, 2014 Matt Niskanen had his first multi-goal game with a two-goal effort in a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena.[6]

Niskanen with the Stars.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2005–06 Minnesota Duluth WCHA 38 1 13 14 40
2006–07 Minnesota Duluth WCHA 39 9 22 31 42
2006–07 Iowa Stars AHL 13 0 3 3 6 12 2 5 7 10
2007–08 Dallas Stars NHL 78 7 19 26 36 16 0 3 3 10
2008–09 Dallas Stars NHL 80 6 29 35 52
2009–10 Dallas Stars NHL 74 3 12 15 18
2010–11 Dallas Stars NHL 45 0 6 6 30
2010–11 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 18 1 3 4 20 7 0 1 1 0
2011–12 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 75 4 17 21 47 4 1 2 3 6
2012–13 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 40 4 10 14 12 15 0 2 2 11
NHL totals 410 25 96 121 215 42 1 8 9 27
AHL totals 13 0 3 3 6 12 2 5 7 10

International[edit]

Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
2006 United States WJC 7 0 0 0 6
2009 United States WC 9 1 2 3 2
Senior International totals 9 1 2 3 2

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
All-WCHA First Team 2006–07

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mark Fistric
Dallas Stars first round draft pick
2005
Succeeded by
Ivan Vishnevskiy