For the New York Islanders, the promise of a young star on the roster has given way to the sense of letting him get better in juniors. The team sent forward Nino Niederreiter back to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, according to a tweet by FanHouse senior writer Chris Botta.
As a result, Niederreiter's entry-level deal -- assuming the Islanders don't bring him back at some point -- won't kick in until next season.
Niederreiter played nine games, scoring one goal and picking up an assist while recording a minus-one rating. The Islanders weren't bashful about putting him on the ice, as he averaged over 13 minutes of ice time per game.
He played well at times, but also looked like a young player who needed more seasoning at other times. In the end, the organization clearly decided he was better off going back to the WHL, where Portland will play him a ton. He'll get top-line minutes, play on the power play, get penalty kill time and he will be a star on a very good team.
It might not be as "challenging" as playing against NHL players, but that doesn't mean it isn't best for Niederreiter's development.
Botta provided the following video of Niederreiter talking about the decision on Thursday...