LOS ANGELES (June 25, 2010) — The New York Islanders have selected Nino Niederreiter with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Islanders’ General Manager Garth Snow announced the pick Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Niederreiter, a native of Chur, Switzerland, played his rookie season in the Western Hockey League, leading the team in goals with 36 and registering 24 assists for 60 points in 65 games with the Portland Winterhawks. The 18-year-old center appeared in 13 playoff games with the Winterhawks, notching eight goals and eight assists for 16 points.
Niederreiter also scored six game-winning goals, which tied him for the league lead among rookies. He was selected to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star team.
“Our goal has constantly been to add the best player into our lineup that will help us build our young core into a team that consistently competes for the Stanley Cup,” Snow said. “Nino was extremely impressive in the World Junior Championships playing for Team Switzerland, using his size to create space. He is a big power-forward who while add size to our lineup for years to come.”
On the international stage, Niederreiter represented Switzerland at the 2010 World Junior Championship, where he lead the team with 10 points in seven games (6 goals, 4 assists). He was named to the tournament all-star team.
Niederreiter is the fifth player in the Islanders’ team history, selected fifth overall. Other Islanders drafted fifth overall in the NHL Entry Draft include Raffi Torres (2000), Tim Connolly (1999), Eric Brewer (1997) and Darius Kasparaitis (1992).