New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has recalled Cristoval Nieves from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Nieves, 22, has skated in 13 games with the Wolf Pack this season, registering one goal and five assists for six points. He ranks second on the team in assists and ranks third on the team in points in 2016-17, and he also leads all rookies on Hartford in assists and points this season. Nieves has registered four assists/points in the last seven games. In addition, he is the only skater on the Wolf Pack who has not been called for a penalty thus far this season.
The 6-3, 219-pounder has skated in 21 career AHL games over parts of two seasons with Hartford (2015-16 and 2016-17), registering three goals and eight assists for 11 points. Nieves tallied a point in each of his first four career AHL games from Apr. 1, 2016 - Apr. 9, 2016, tallying five points (two goals, three assists) over the span. Nieves has not been called for a penalty thus far in his professional career.
Prior to beginning his professional career, Nieves skated in 144 career collegiate games over four seasons with the University of Michigan (2012-13 - 2015-16), registering 28 goals and 82 assists for 110 points, along with a plus-10 rating and 72 penalty minutes. He recorded 21 assists in three of his four seasons with the Wolverines. Nieves posted a faceoff win percentage of 50.0% or better in each of his four seasons with the University of Michigan, and he established a collegiate career-high with a 59.5% faceoff win percentage in 2015-16 (393-for-660).
In his final season of collegiate hockey in 2015-16, Nieves registered 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points, along with a plus-nine rating 35 games. He established collegiate career-highs in goals, points, and plus/minus rating, and tied his collegiate career-high in assists while helping the Wolverines win the Big Ten Championship in 2015-16.
Prior to the start of this season, Nieves represented the Rangers at the 2016 Traverse City Tournament. Nieves, who served as the Rangers' captain during the tournament, registered three points (one goal, two assists) in four games, and he tied for second on the team in assists and points.
The Syracuse, New York, native was selected by the Rangers in the second round, 59th overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.