Factor Facts is an inside-the-numbers look at the Minnesota Wild's season that was. Today, Wild.com examines forward Nino Niederreiter and the impact he had on Minnesota's historic 2016-17 campaign:
Wild forward Nino Niederreiter, who was the fifth overall selection in the 2010 NHL Draft, has been trending in the right direction ever since he made his debut in the League later that same fall.
It hasn't always been pretty for Niederreiter, who posted just one goal and a minus-29 in 55 games with the New York Islanders in 2011-12. He spent the entire lockout-shortened season in the minors, where he got his game back on track by scoring 28 goals and 50 points in 74 games in the American Hockey League.
The following offseason, the Wild traded Cal Clutterbuck and a draft pick to New York for Niederreiter, and ever since, his career has taken off.
He scored 14 goals, had 22 assists and posted a plus-12 his first season with the Wild, playing in all but one game that season.
Niederreiter tallied his first of three straight 20-goal seasons in 2014-15 while seeing his overall point totals increase in each of his first three seasons with the Wild.
That trend continued in 2016-17, as Niederreiter posted career highs in every offensive category.
With Niederreiter still just 24 years old, there's plenty of reason to believe that his best days are ahead of him.
Here's a look inside the numbers from this past season for a possible indicator of what could be yet to come:
A three-time 20-goal scorer, Niederreiter cracked 25 for the first time in his NHL career and spoke during the season of his hopeful pursuit of 30 goals. That seems like a reasonable goal for next season.
Always known as more of a goal-scorer, Niederreiter's play-making ability has improved markedly over the past several seasons, highlighted by his 32 assists in 2016-17. It was his first time surpassing 30 helpers in a single season and second time in as many seasons that he had more assists than goals.
Despite increasing point totals in each of his past three campaigns, Niederreiter had never scored more than 43 points in the NHL until this season. In fact, 57 points is the most Niederreiter has ever scored as a professional and the most since he tallied 70 in his final season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League in 2010-11.
Perhaps it's hard to believe that a guy who was a minus-29 in his final season with the Islanders could be a plus-17, but it's another upward trend of his. Niederreiter has never been a minus player with Minnesota, posting a plus-23 over his first three seasons before finishing 17 better than even in 2016-17. He is now a plus-10 overall in 389 games in the NHL.
After scoring just two power-play goals in 2015-16, Niederreiter rebounded to bury eight while on the man advantage this season, the most on the Wild's roster. After scoring six power-play goals in 2014-15, one would assume Niederreiter could approach double digits next season, especially if he is able to reach 30 goals overall.
Although he's never been known for his enforcing skills, Niederreiter certainly has the frame to play a physical game. His 53 penalty minutes this season were a career high, nine more than the 44 he had in his first season with the Wild. Niederreiter's 120 hits led the team, as he was just one of two Wild players to surpass the century mark in that category this season (Charlie Coyle, 101)