In the first trade made by the teams in 37 years, the Islanders have traded defenseman Jyri Niemi to the Rangers for a sixth round pick in the 2010 draft. The Rangers immediately signed Niemi to an Entry Level contract and he will report to their prospect camp.
From just about everyone we have spoken to for this blog over the last years, Niemi – the NYI’s 3rd round pick in 2008 who had to be signed by the end of this month – was not considered an NHL prospect. However, all it takes is one scout to believe in a player, and obviously Gordie Clark at the Rangers employs someone who thought the 6-3 Finn was worth a shot.
For Garth Snow, instead of losing a player for nothing, he gets another dart in the sixth round. Since the Islanders don’t think Niemi is anything significant, the deal was a no-brainer.
I’ll be on with Jeff Marek on Hockey Night in Canada Radio tonight at 6:00 pm. There is no chance we will be discussing this blockbuster deal.