Wild sign Nino Niederreiter to 5-year contract extension

CALGARY, AB - FEBRUARY 17: Sean Monahan
CALGARY, AB - FEBRUARY 17: Sean Monahan /

The Minnesota Wild signed forward Nino Niederreiter to a five-year contract extension. A move that checks a huge box off the Wild’s offseason checklist.

When the Minnesota Vikings extended Xavier Rhodes Sunday morning, the Minnesota Wild must have taken notice. A few hours later, the Wild locked up one of their top players in forward Nino Niederreiter. The team announced the terms of the five-year deal via Twitter:

Niederreiter, 24, has emerged into a fine player for the Wild since his acquisition from the New York Islanders in 2013. In fact, he has improved his point totals in each of his four seasons in Minnesota, producing 36, 37, 43 and 57, respectively.

Last season, Niederreiter broke out for a career-high 25 goals and 32 assists in a year where the Wild finished second in the Western Conference with 106 points. Playing primarily on the team’s top two lines, the 6-foot-2, 211 pound forward uses his size well around the net. He also brings physicality to a team that generally relies on speed.

In announcing the signing, general manager Chuck Fletcher spoke highly of his newly extended power forward:

"“Nino has had a big impact on our club during the last four seasons and we’re very happy to know that will continue in the future,” said Fletcher. “He’s grown into his role as one of the offensive leaders of this group and his shot and net-front presence will continue to play a major role in our team’s success. Nino has a great attitude and personality, and we know our fans will be as happy as we are about this news.”"

Coming off a three-year contract he signed in 2014, Niederreiter became a restricted free agent after last season. The Wild prioritized extending him as well as star winger Mikael Granlund to long-term deals.

In the beginning of July, both players filed for arbitration, which helps clubs settle on one or two-year deal for restricted free agents. Even so, teams can continue long-term negotiations with players before arbitration hearings.

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With Niederreiter’s long-term contract done, the Wild has the luxury of turning their attention to Grandlund. According to the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo, a three to five-year deal is being negotiated with the young center. If a deal isn’t done by Friday, an arbitration hearing will be scheduled. Something that the Wild would like to avoid.

The Wild also have recently acquired Marcus Foligno on their radar. According to Russo, the team wants to sign the hard-nosed power forward to a three to four-year deal.

Foligno was traded to Minnesota along with Tyler Ennis from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville on June 30. The 25-year old provides much-needed physicality and a scoring punch on the third and fourth lines. Foligno didn’t file for arbitration, so talks could carry into the fall.

Next: After trading Garcia, Twins focus is on long-term

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