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Thread: 1st Rangers-Islanders Trade Since 1972

  1. #1
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    Aug 2005
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    1st Rangers-Islanders Trade Since 1972

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The Rangers are getting defenseman Jyri Niemi from the Islanders for a sixth-round pick in this year's draft.

    The trade announced Tuesday is the first between the New York area rivals since forward Ron Stewart was dealt to the Islanders for cash on Nov. 14, 1972, during the Islanders' first season.

    The 19-year-old Niemi played in 50 games with Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League last season. He had eight goals and 21 assists with a plus-9 rating.

    Niemi was chosen by the Islanders in the third round -- the 72nd pick -- of the 2008 draft. The 6-foot-2, 192-pound native of Finland has spent the last three seasons with Saskatoon.

    Apparently he wasn't going to sign with the Islanders. Either they think what they have is better or Niemi didn't want to sign with them, or a combination of both. So the Islanders got what they could for him before he re-entered the NHL draft and/or went back to Finland. I understand the Rangers have already signed him to an entry-level contract.

    He needs another year in the WHL but will be coached again by Lorne Molleken who has a good track record with young defensemen (Jackman, Exelby and some kid named Mike Green). I think getting a 19 year old with his size and talent base with the upside is well worth the 6th rounder the Rangers gave up. Some say he's not strong defensively but his +/- lately says otherwise. His offensive skills is what sets him apart. One of the hardest shots around.

    "This has been a great day for me," Niemi said in a phone interview from Finland on Tuesday night. "This is something that I've been looking forward to for years -- to get a chance to be part of an NHL organization, and I couldn't be more happy right now. I'm just looking forward to joining the team and meeting all the guys."

    Did he not consider the Islanders an NHL organization? (Sorry Isles fans, couldn't resist)

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