The Minnesota Wild and forward Nino Noederreiter agreed to terms on an five-year contract worth $26.25 million this past weekend in a contract that has average an annual value of $5.25 million.
“I’m definitely very excited to be [in Minnesota] for the next five years,” Niederreiter said during a conference call on Monday (h/t NHL.com).
“It was a long summer, a lot of thinking [and not being sure] what’s going to happen. … I feel like now, I can just go and play the game and don’t have to worry about the contract situation, don’t have to worry about where I’m going to be the next few years.”
Niederreiter, 25, is coming off his best season where he notched a career-high 57 points for Minnesota.
“You never want to go to Toronto [arbitration] and make a deal there,” Niederreiter said. “At the end of the day, I think it’s a good deal for both parties.”
The Wild are excited to get the deal done and what the future holds with Niederreiter in the fold.
“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 Wild general manager Chuck 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.”
“Even last year, I don’t think everything went perfectly smooth,” Niederreiter said. “There’s always been stretches in the season where I don’t find the score sheet, and that’s something I definitely want and need to improve on. I think I’m capable of getting [30 goals in a season] and it’s something to work on.”
Niederreiter was selected by the New York Islanders in the first round (No. 5) of the 2010 NHL Draft and signed with the Wild in 2014.
“I had quite a rough start [in my career] and I didn’t know what direction I was going to be headed,” said Niederreiter, who had one point in 55 games as a rookie with the Islanders in 2011-12. “Things definitely turned around when I got to Minnesota. From the get-go they gave me a nice, clear chance to evolve into a better player and I want to keep getting better.
“I know where I’m heading to and I know what I need to do to be a better player for this team and I think that’s a good direction to head.”