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Exit Interviews: Nino "El Nino" Niederreiter

Nino comes into Chuck Fletcher's office for an interview.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason means the end of Wild games, but for the players, the work is never done. With Exit Interviews, Hockey Wilderness takes each player and reviews their season, highlighting what we liked seeing from them over the year, and pointing out what can be improved to take the next step next year. We Continue with Nino Niederreiter. Huge sticktap to Dan Shrader and Nathan Wells for the idea.

Hi Nino, come on in and take a seat. You've had a great year, by all accounts! You netted 24 Goals and 13 Assists, despite being bounced around like a ping pong ball. It's hard to imagine how tough it was playing no more than 460 of your 975 minutes with any other forward (Charlie Coyle). You've been one of the best pickups we've made, considering we got you for a man who was known as a "human-seeking missile."

You've signed a contract that's friendly to both yourself and the team, and you are the very definition of someone who is "Wild at Heart," and we couldn't be prouder. That's why we refuse to give you consistently good linemates or any PP time at all. We know you lead the team in goals for a stretch this season, but our stats guys tell us that was unsustainable. We'll listen to them on that, but not when they tell us how good you are at driving possession.

Expectations for Next Year

Keep on Keepin' on. We really like that you didn't complain about being moved around so much, and you made the best of every situation you were in. Keep building your strength so you can be that physical board presence that we need, and keep working on accuracy with that silly hard shot. We promise to let you use it more often in situations like a shootout or power play. We would like to see some more net-front presence out of you, to pick up some of those dirty goals.

Offseason Homework

1) Talk to Jason Zucker about defensive responsibility. No, we're not sure what we mean either, but it's a nice buzzword that let's us bury you without having any legitimate reasons. If you can become more ‘defensively responsible,' we'll start giving you consistently good teammates, and putting you in situations you can score in. No, don't pay any attention to our crossed fingers, we just have a cramp.

2) Talk to Zach Parise about getting to the goalmouth; it's super important, and with your size and hands you could really be great there. It's nice that you have speed and can score off the rush- we mean that- but we've gotta get you some more goals off the cycle, since that's our game. Those one-timers that you get fed in front of goal? We want those all day long. We need you to be there to get the pass, though.

3) Buy some chocolate for Yeo; for some reason you were buried for the first half of the season with zero leash; maybe some sugary milk chocolate will soften up the old man. We'd love to see development out of you, but you are exactly what we hoped you would be... we just need some more board presence and some goal-mouth work out of you.