The Philly-Nashville Connection Strengthens
– Holmgren and Poile strike again. This time the Flyers swapped Phantoms’ forward Triston Grant and their seventh pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft for the Predators’ prospect Janne Niskala. According to the Flyers’ website:
Niskala, 26, recorded 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 points and 81 penalty minutes in 80 regular season games for the Predators’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, this past season. He led Admirals defensemen in goals (19, second among AHL defensemen) and points (44, tied for 11th among AHL defensemen). He was also a member of the bronze medal-winning Team Finland at the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Halifax and Quebec City.
Prior to joining the Predators organization for the 2007-08 season, Niskala played parts of the previous seven seasons with teams in top European Leagues, including Lukko Rauma (Finland – 2000-01 through 2004-05), EV Zug (Swiss – 2005-06) and Farjestad (Sweden – 2006-07). He registered 72 goals and 92 assists for 164 points and 369 penalty minutes in 296 regular season games over his final six seasons in Europe (2001-02 through 2006-07). He has led his team’s defensemen in goals in each of his last five seasons. He led Swedish Elite League defensemen in points with 49 (19G,30A) during the 2006-07 season.
Niskala was drafted by Nashville in the fifth round (147th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Bill Meltzer is the only blogger I’ve found with some actual analysis on Niskala as a player. If I find anything else, I’ll be sure to post.