With the 2010 NHL Entry Draft coming up on June 25th in Los Angeles, I thought I would express my opinion on who the Bolts should take with their #6 pick in the draft, Nino Neiderreiter.
Who Is Nino Neiderreiter?
Nino Neiderreiter is a 6ft 1in, 205lb left winger from Switzerland. He plays for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. He is a high energy, offensive player who is estimated to go at the #10 position in this year's draft.
What Kind of Experience Does He Have?
Because Neiderreiter plays in the WHL, he is already well adjusted to the North American style of play. Last season with the Winterhawks, he played 65 games, scoring 36 goals and recording 24 assists. In the 13 games he played in the WHL playoffs, he scored 8 goals and 8 assists. In addition to this, he performed surprisingly well at the 2009/2010 World Junior Championship tounament. In his 7 games played, he netted 6 goals and had 4 assists. He also helped team Switzerland shock the hockey world by scoring a goal in the final minute of regulation against the powerhouse Russian team to tie the game at 2-2, then followed that up by scoring the overtime winner, defeating the heavily favored Russians. He was also selected to the tournament all-star team.
These are just a couple of general questions you may have asked yourself when you heard his name. But here is the bigger and most important question:
How Can He Help The Lightning and Why Do They Need Him?
Well my friends, while I understand that the Lightning still need help on the back-end with their defense, they made a huge step in doing that when they drafted Victor Hedman #2 overall last year. The old cliche is that "defense wins championships" but if you watched this past Stanley Cup Finals series between Chicago and Philadelphia, I think you'll agree that the old cliche doesn't always prove to be true. Besides, the Lightning are in desperate need of wingers as it is. I mean lets be honest, Marty St.Louis is not getting any younger, and remember the left winger who was supposed to give a much needed offensive boost to the team last year, Alex Tanguay? Yeah. He did wonders for us (insert sarcastic tone here)
Look, Neiderreiter is an aggressive player with good size and speed. I think that he could be a nice offensive threat for the Lightning in the years to come. Come on people, the "Stamkos to Neiderreiter" line sounds pretty sexy, don't you think?
Anyway, this is exactly why the Lightning need him. He has alot of offensive potential. This is something that a team always needs to have in their organization. And on top of that, he is a scoring WINGER (keyword "winger" if you didn't catch that.) When you really think about it, Marty St.Louis is the only true scoring winger that the Lightning have had. So if you have a better suggestion, please, I'd love to hear it. But I say El Nino for the pick!