|El Nino really wants off the Island|
Now there are two ways to look at this whole situation of a young player requesting a trade. The first is that Niederreiter was with the team last year and played 55 games and should be an automatic invite to camp the next year. The second is that Niederreiter is still only 20-years-old and that the Islanders management thinks it's better for him to get major minutes and keep building up his confidence down in the AHL.
Niederreiter is having a great season so far in the AHL for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and leads the team in scoring with 19 goals and 36 points in 39 games. This is very positive news for Islanders fans who were wondering what sort of player they had with their 5th overall pick from 2010. After a horrible season that had him sidelined with a concussion and a groin injury, Niederreiter suited up in 55 games and scored one goal and that was his only point and he was also a -29 on the year. Not the kind of stats they wanted to see from their 5th overall pick in 2010.
Last year Niederreiter logged 10:06 minutes a game and spent most of the time on the 3rd and 4th lines playing with less talented plugs on a team that finished 4th last in the league. Giving Nino a chance to play major minutes and be a top player on the minors is the smart thing to do right now with him and the Isles really fucked him up last year by jerking him around rather than send him back to junior to develop.
Over in Tampa Bay, Steve Yzerman was having the same problem with a young prospect. Brett Connolly who was picked 6th overall right after Niederreiter in the 2010 draft was not invited to camp last week. Connolly played 68 games last year as an 19-year-old with the Lightning and put up an underwhelming 4 goals and 15 points, playing 11:28 minutes a game.
Connolly just like Niederreiter is having a very strong season so far in the AHL notching 15 goals and 34 points in 38 games and of course was very disappointed in not being invited to camp this year. Rather than request a trade Connolly is using his absence from NHL training camp as motivation to get better and be a go-to guy in the NHL. That's the kind of attitude you want to have in your system and one day he'll be feeding one-timers to Stamkos.
Niederreiter couldn't cut it last year in the NHL on one of the worst teams in the league. He should be using that as motivation to get better and to earn a spot on the Islanders NHL roster, or at least make himself desirable in a trade.