Born September 8, 1992 (age 19) in Chur, Switzerland
Right winger for the New York Islanders
Say his name, say his name…isn’t it fun to say? This youngster’s accomplished a lot in a short time! Nino played in in the junior version of HC Davos in Switzerland before coming to North America to play – he had a feeling it would give him a better shot at the NHL. When he entered the CHL Import Draft, the Portland Winterhawks took him, and he led the team in goals in his rookie season. Central Scouting thought so highly of him that they predicted he’d be just the fourth Swiss player to ever be chosen in the first round of the draft. They were right – Nino was chosen 5th overall in the 2010 draft by the New York Islanders.
When he debuted in October 2010 with a three-year contract under his belt, he became the youngest player in the history of the Islanders, and his first NHL goal – against the Washington Capitals – made him the youngest Islander and fourth youngest player of the 1967 expansion-era teams to do so (only Grant Mulvey, Jordan Staal and Patrick Marleau were younger). But after nine games, the customary tryout for younglings, he was sent back to the Winterhawks and 70 points in 55 games. This season’s been not so good for Nino – he was injured and has only played in 34 games with a single goal, but I’m sure he’ll get back to it – he’s got a fellow Swiss as his captain!