• Niederreiter led Portland with 36 goals (36-24--60) in the 2009-10 season, becoming the first Winterhawk with 30-plus goals since 2004-05. His goal total was second among all Western Hockey League rookies and his six game-winning goals tied for the league lead among rookies. For his efforts he was selected to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star team.
• He continued his strong play into the playoffs leading Portland with eight goals and finishing second with 16 points (8-8--8) in 13 games. After his team was eliminated from the playoffs, Neiderreiter made Switzerland’s entry in the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany.
• He also represented Switzerland at the 2010 World Junior Championship, leading the team with 10 points in seven games (6-4--10) and earning a spot on the tournament all-star team alongside forwards Jordan Eberle (Canada) and Derek Stepan (U.S). He had two goals, including the game-winner, in Switzerland’s 3-2 defeat over Russia helping his team reach the semi-finals against Canada.
• For most of the 2009-10 season, Niederreiter played on a line with 2010 draft prospects Ryan Johansen (No. 10 ranked) and Bradley Ross (No. 59 ranked). In total, the Portland Winterhawks have five draft-eligible players ranked in the top 90 North American skaters.
• He got started in hockey because his best friend, Leandro Profico, got him to watch his first hockey game and to skate for the first time. He played nine years of his minor hockey for EHC Chur and then played three years for HC Davos before playing in the Western Hockey League.
NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks NHL Player: Ilya Kovalchuk and Vincent Lecavalier Shootout move: “Every time is different, but I like forehand and backhand” Goal celebration: “Just put the hands in the air” Video Game: NHL ‘10 Movie: Cool Runnings, I Can Do Bad All by Myself TV Show: Jerry Springer Cartoon: Hey Arnold Website: facebook.com, youtube.com Pump-up song: “Elements of Live” by DJ Tiesto Restaurant: Moxies Activity away from the rink: Bowling and hanging out with friends Breakfast food: Toast and Nutella Superhero: Roger Federer
It's a tribute to him, and everything he's done and deserved is coming to fruition tonight with his jersey in the rafters. He's going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. And I said today, if he's not, take my stuff out. If he doesn't deserve to be in there first ballot, no one does. Except for (Wayne) Gretzky, I guess.
— Hockey Hall of Fame member Brett Hull on former teammate Mike Modano, whose No. 9 was retired by the Dallas Stars on Saturday