Matt Nieto, top-six forward?
Quietly, Nieto has been playing up in the line-up during the San Jose Sharks’ three-game winning streak – and doing a good job of it.
“Yeah, Niets is a guy that’s so interchangeable,” Bob Boughner said. “He’s played left wing, right wing, he’s played on every line and on the penalty kill.”
Last Monday, Nieto skated with Dylan Gambrell and Rudolfs Balcers in a surprise 3-2 OT victory over the St. Louis Blues. This past weekend, Nieto filled in for an injured Balcers, skating next to Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier. Nieto came out from this promotion with just a single assist, but he’s a player whose contributions should be measured beyond points.
“He embraces his role and he’s able to move up in the line-up when needed, just because he plays a pretty simple game,” Evander Kane said. “He does a good job of playing within himself. He did that tonight and he’s really been doing that all year.”
I took a closer look at some of the good work that Nieto did last night in a 3-1 win over Anaheim – and talked to an NHL scout to gauge his trade value around the league. Nieto, of course, is an unrestricted free agent, the Trade Deadline is less than a month away, and the Sharks are still eight points behind the Blues for the final playoff spot in the West.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.