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2010 NHL Draft Profile: Nino Niederreiter

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Today we at Defending Big D start our annual look at top draft prospects that could possibly have their name called by the Dallas Stars at the 2010 Entry Draft.  Today we start with a personal pick of mine that if the Stars are very luck could fall to the number 11 spot: Portland Winterhawks Right Winger Nino Niederreiter..

Nino Niederreiter

Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Born: September 8, 1992
HometownChur, Switzerland
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 201 pounds
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Left

International Scouting Services:  6th
Central Scouting:  12th North American Skaters


    Regular Season Playoffs

  Lge GP G A Pts +/- PIM GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2008-09 HC Davos U20 Elite Jr. A 30 20 14 34

2009-10 Portland Winterhawks
WHL 65 36 24 60 +11 68 13 8 8 16 +1 16



Why the Stars would want him:

A strong player who can play both sides of the forward ice and has pro-level finishing ability already at his young age.  His potential to be an impact player in the NHL is as high as anyone's and as recent performances at the World Juniors and in the National League A playoffs with HC Davos in 2009 proved, he can certainly handle being in and performing well in pressure situations.

Why the Stars would pass:

The Stars may not get a chance to pass on "El Nino" as his soild rookie campaign in the WHL has boosted his rating on various draft charts.  Still, there is a question on his speed and if he can keep up with an NHL pace.  His puck handling is also a bit suspect.

What they're saying:

The Scouting Report's take on Nino..

A big, gritty winger who plays a pro style game. Niederreiter had a very strong first season in North America where he adjusted very well to the WHL and capitalized on the score sheet as well. His real coming out party was at the World Junior Championships where he was among the top forwards at the event.

What Nino himself said to McKeens Hockey on what he wants to improve the most about his game..

I want to be even faster, I'm not satisfied with my first three steps, I would like to improve on that and I'm working with the coaching staff to do just that. I have to shoot the puck more instead of trying to force too many passes through clogged up passing lanes. As I mentioned, I want to be better defensively, but yes, I would agree that skating is my strength.


And on YouTube: Hockey's newest Superstar: Nino Niederreiter (via PDXWinterHawks)