Michael Russo of the StarTribune reports that the Minnesota Wild and forward Nino Niederreiter are closing in on a new contract. Both player and team are currently scheduled for an arbitration hearing this Thursday.
The 24 year-old Swiss is due for a significant raise after scoring 25G and 32A in 82 games last season. It is Niederreiter’s third straight 20 goal season, and he has increased his point total every season since joining the Wild. Niederreiter’s previous contract paid him an average of $2.66MM a year for three years.
The contract amount will depend on how many UFA years the Wild lock up. Michael Russo believes that the Wild will settle on a 3–5 year contract. Given recent signings, expect this contract to be in the $5.5MM–6MM range. The Nashville Predators locked up Ryan Johansen for $8MM a year, and the center only scored 4 more points than Niederreiter this season. At the other end of the spectrum, the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings signed RFAs Mika Zibanejad and Tomas Tatar to $5.35MM and 5.3MM contracts, respectively. Niederreiter playing on the wing will depress his value slightly, but he should receive at least what Tatar and Zibanejad received.