September 8, 1992 |
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)|
|NHL team (P)
|New York Islanders
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)
HC Davos, EHC Chur
|NHL Draft||5th overall, 2010
New York Islanders
Nino Niederreiter (born September 8, 1992), nicknamed El Niño, is a Swiss ice hockey player currently playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL). He was selected fifth overall by the New York Islanders in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, making him the highest-drafted Swiss hockey player in NHL history. Niederreiter made his NHL debut with the Islanders early in the 2010–11 season before being returned to his junior club, the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Prior to coming over to North America Niederreiter had played in the junior system of the Swiss team HC Davos, and appeared in three playoff games for the senior club in 2010.
Playing career 
Unlike many Swiss hockey players, Niederreiter decided to play hockey in North American junior hockey to give him a better shot of making the National Hockey League (NHL). Past Swiss first round draft picks Luca Cereda and Michel Riesen were known in hockey circles as "Swiss misses", as they never made an impact in the NHL. Niederreiter followed in the footsteps of his Swiss teammate and friend Luca Sbisa and declared himself eligible for the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. He was drafted by the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL and enjoyed success in his rookie year.
While playing with Portland, Niederreiter was selected to play in the prestigious CHL Top Prospects Game to play for coach Bobby Orr. After scoring a fantastic "trick shot" goal in the trick shot competition during the skills competition on 20 January 2010, Niederreiter opened the scoring during the actual game the following day. He scored with 2:38 remaining in the first period on top-ranked goaltender Calvin Pickard to give Team Orr a 1–0 lead at the break. Team Cherry would eventually win by a score of 4–2. In Niederreiter's first season of North American play and rookie season for the Portland, he led the Winterhawks in goals scored with 36. This was also good for 18th in the entire Western Hockey League and second amongst rookies. He added 24 assists, for 60 points on the season, good for fourth on the Winterhawks. He recorded a further 16 points in 13 playoff games, second best on the team. The WHL recognised Niederreiter by selecting him to the league's Western Conference Second All-Star Team.
The NHL Central Scouting Bureau predicted that he would become just the fourth Swiss ice hockey player be drafted in the first round in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie believed that he could become the highest drafted Swiss player in history. Niederreiter was ranked 14th by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau amongst North American trained players in its midterm rankings. The NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked Niederreiter 12th in its final rankings for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Those predictions came to fruition when he was selected by the New York Islanders with the 5th pick. He is now the earliest selected Swiss-born player in draft history (Michel Riesen had been selected 14th, in 1997).
Professional career 
Niederreiter was selected fifth overall by the New York Islanders and was the first European drafted, albeit that he was North American trained. He began the 2010–2011 season at the NHL level with a three-year entry level contract. When he made his debut on October 9, 2010, he was the youngest player in the history of the Islanders,(David Chyzowski has previously been the youngest) and scored the first goal of his NHL career on October 13, 2010, against goalie Michal Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals. With the goal, Niederreiter, at the age of 18 years, 35 days became the youngest Islander and fourth youngest player of the expansion era (1967) to score an NHL goal. The only younger players to score in the NHL since expansion were Grant Mulvey (18 years, 32 days), Jordan Staal (18 years, 32 days) and Patrick Marleau (18 years, 34 days).
On October 28, 2010, the Islanders announced that they would return Niederreiter to the Winterhawks for further development. As he only played nine games in the NHL, Niederreiter did not use up a year on his NHL contract; had he played ten games, it would have counted as a full year.
With Portland, Niederreiter enjoyed a career year with 41 goals and 29 assists for 70 points in 55 games.
As a result of the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Niederreiter was assigned to the Islanders American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Following the conclusion of the lockout, Niederreiter was not invited to the Islanders' training camp and reportedly asked for a trade as a result. Islanders' GM Garth Snow indicated that the relationship between the player and the organization was fine, stating "All conversations with players remain private, but I will say that Nino has never told me that he's unhappy".
International play 
|Men's Ice hockey|
|Competitor for Switzerland|
Niederreiter first played in an international tournament when he took part in the 2008 IIHF World U18 Championships, held in Russia, for the Swiss national junior team. Switzerland finished eighth overall, and Niederreiter scored two points in six games. He next appeared at the 2009 edition of the tournament in the United States and recorded six points in six games, as the Swiss again finished eighth.
At the 2010 IIHF World U20 Championships, he led the Swiss team to an upset of the Russians by scoring two goals in a 3–2 victory. His first goal came in the final minute of regulation play to send the game to overtime, and followed it with the overtime winner  He finished with six goals and four assists, good enough for seventh in the tournament. These feats led to him being selected to the tournament all-star team.
During the tournament, Niederreiter and Nazem Kadri attracted attention for Kadri's refusal to shake hands with Niederreiter after their semi-final game. Kadri did not elaborate on the specifics of what caused his refusal, but did absolve Niederreiter of using an ethnic slur, "Obviously, in big games like that, guys tend to lose their composure a bit, but I didn't take offence to anything he said. It was just that I felt like I didn't have to shake his hand." Kadri later had second thoughts about his refusal, "I regret it a little bit."
Career statistics 
|2006–07||HC Davos U18||Elite Novizen||32||43||19||62||38||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||HC Davos U18||Elite Novizen||32||39||26||65||62||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||HC Davos U20||Elite Jr. A||5||5||1||6||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||HC Davos U18||Elite Novizen||6||6||6||12||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||HC Davos U20||Elite Jr. A||30||20||14||34||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||New York Islanders||NHL||9||1||1||2||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||New York Islanders||NHL||55||1||0||1||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Bridgeport Sound Tigers||AHL||6||3||1||4||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Bridgeport Sound Tigers||AHL||74||28||22||50||38||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honours 
|IIHF All-Star Team||2010|
|WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team||2010|
- Merk, Martin (2010-01-02). "Niederreiter riding high". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- Kimelman, Adam (2010-01-19). "Team Cherry wins CHL Top Prospects game, 4–2". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- WHL (2010). "2009–2010 Portland Winterhawks Statistics". WHL.ca. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- WHL (2010). "2009–2010 WHL Goal Leaders". WHL.ca. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- NHL.com (2010). "Nino Niederreiter Prospect Card". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- LeBourdais, Dyan (2010-10-06). "Niederreiter earns a shot". NewYorkIslanders.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- McKenzie, Bob (2010-01-11). "Canada must pay attention to Niederreiter, Conz". TSN.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- NHL (2010-01-11). "North American Skaters Midterm Rankings". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- NHL (2010-04-08). "North American Skaters Final Rankings". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- Kimelman, Adam (2010-06-26). "Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin selections start to wild first round". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- Compton, Brian (2010-10-06). "Nino Niederreiter sticking with Islanders". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- NHL (2010-10-13). "Niederreiter becomes youngest Islander scorer". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- Compton, Brian (2010-10-28). "Islanders return Niederreiter to junior club". NHL.com. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- New York Islanders (2012-09-14). "Islanders Assign 21 Players". Islanders.NHL.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- NHL notes: Blues end Wade Redden's two-year exile http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2013/01/23/20520756.html
- Merk, Martin (2010-01-02). "Niederreiter shuts down Russia". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- IIHF (2010-01-06). "2010 IIHF World U20 Championship – All Stars". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
- Beacon, Bill and Donna Spencer (2010-01-04). "Canada’s Kadri stays quiet on refusal to shake Niederreiter’s hand". The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- Sekeres, Matthew (2010-01-04). "Kadri regrets reactions to Swiss". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- Nino Niederreiter's career stats at Eliteprospects.com
- Nino Niederreiter's player profile at NHL.com
- Portland Winterhawks profile
- Nino Niederreiter – player profile and career stats at European Hockey.Net
- Nino Niederreiter's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
Calvin de Haan
|New York Islanders first round pick