The New York Rangers have retained Boo Nieves without a fight, as CapFriendly reports that the young forward accepted his qualifying offer and will sign a one-year two-way contract worth just over $708K in the NHL.
Nieves, 24, finally broke into the NHL this season and played 28 games for the Rangers throughout the year. The smooth skating center has size and speed on his side, but hasn’t ever really developed a scoring touch and will have to bring defensive reliability if he’s to carve out an NHL career. In the minor leagues, Nieves never registered more than eight goals in a season but did have some solid assist totals. That repeated itself in the NHL this season, where he scored just one goal but added eight assists in those 28 contests.
It will be interesting to see if he is given a chance this season with the Rangers, given that they already have plenty of NHL experience up front and top young prospects like Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson pressing for roles. Nieves is still waiver exempt for another season, but will qualify for Group VI unrestricted free agency next summer if he doesn’t see the NHL ice at least 51 more times this year. Obviously there’s no guarantee that he’d leave the organization, but if they want to keep him they may have to give him a chance.