By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – His name is difficult to pronounce, but it’s sure been muttered a lot the last couple days. That’s what happens when you score the winning goal in Game 7.

But what’s ironic is that Nino Neitereiter is more often trying to prevent goals than score them.

For him, it’s about his size. He’s got a presence on the ice.

“You can help the team get momentum back if you make a big hit or you’re playing down low and hold onto the puck,” he said, adding: “I try to be helpful to the team, and try to get the puck to the net somehow if I can.”

He’s a part of the Wild’s new wave. The team is growing up fast in the playoffs. Together.

“He is a great teammate,” said centre Mikael Granlund. “I’m really good friends with him, and, you know, he brings a lot of physicality. He can protect the puck well.”

And even if it all ends with the series against the Blackhawks, it’s been a good season.

“It’s been a fun year,” Niedeiter said. “Obviously, we have a great group of guys, and the coaching staff has been very helpful. It’s been way different from my experience in the past. I’m very happy to be here.”

And I think the Wild are happy to have him.


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