Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Terriers tap familiar sources for top scorer

The headline on subscription site U.S. Hockey Report reads “Terriers Land Point Machine.”

The subject of that headline is 5’11”, 182 lb. left wing Matt Nieto (see Media Guide, pg. 20) of the U.S. NTDP U18 Team who has committed to Boston University, joining the growing 2010 recruit class.

USHR went on to describe Nieto (photo from USA Hockey), who led the NTDP in scoring last season with 67 points (26-41) in 64 games, as “an explosive skater and a gifted goal scorer and playmaker.” He had made an unofficial visit to BU last season.

Nieto, whose hometown is Long Beach, Calif., began last season with the U17s, scoring 53 points (20-33) with 22 PIMs in 51 games, before being called up to U18s along with Adam Clendening, who verballed to BU on Sept. 25. Nieto added 14 points (6-8) in 13 games. In the World U18 championship, he tallied four goals in seven games, registering a plus-five rating as Team USA earned the gold medal . [Note: In 2006, Colin Wilson moved up to the U18s from the U17s to help Team USA win gold in the World U18s.] His 41 total assists is 8th best for a season in the NTDP.

The left wing, who spent his sophomore year at The Salisbury School in Connecticut (8-10-18) and had previously played for the LA Selects, is the second youngest player on the U18s this season and both he and Clendening are not eligible for the NHL draft until 2011. [Current freshman Ryan Santana also played in the LA Selects' system.]

Nieto continues the long line of NTDP players who have become Terriers, including current captain Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen, Luke Popko and David Warsofsky. He also shares a connection with numerous current (Shattenkirk, Cohen, Corey Trivino, Alex Chiasson) and future Terriers (Cason Hohmann and Robert Porsello), having played for the East Coast Selects' ’92 tournament squad.

►Nov. 2008 USA Hockey.com feature on Nieto.

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