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Nino Niederreiter going back to juniors

Islanders winger Nino Niederreiter carries the puck against

Islanders winger Nino Niederreiter carries the puck against the Rangers at Nassau Coliseum. (Oct. 11, 2010) Credit: Jim McIsaac

GM Garth Snow and coach Scott Gordon told Niederreiter this morning that the 18-year-old was going back to Portland of the Western Hockey League. It's not a surprising move -- Niederreiter said he expected it -- and now it's time for the Isles' first-round pick to regain his offensive confidence.

"At the end, it's better for me to go for one more year in juniors, to be a leader there," Niederreiter told Newsday before he left. "Now I know how NHL players have to play, how hard it is to get scoring opportunities. I definitely have to work on that. I tried my best on that here, but it wasn't good enough."

Niederreiter averaged over 13 minutes a game in his nine-game stay with the Islanders, with a goal and an assist. In Portland, playing for former NHL assistant Mike Johnson, he can play in all situations.

"He'll be on the power play, top line, in situations that wouldn't have materialized here," Snow said. "It's a great situation to go back and dominate that league again. It'll be a great experience for when he's back in September."


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