His blazing speed was on display on the final day of camp. Nieves carried the puck through the offensive zone with authority and generated chances almost everytime he was on the ice.
He said that he fine-tuned his game after a dissapointing sophomore season with the Wolverines.
“I wasn’t battling for every puck,” Nieves said. “I was kind of lazy coming off of freshman year but I think my junior and senior year the coaches stuck with me and I stuck with myself and I kind of pushed through that and learned to compete every single day.”
Gordie Clark, the Rangers’ director of player personnel, noticed Nieves’ progression, and said on Monday that the versatile forward was more active away from the puck.
After the Wolverines were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament - following a Big Ten Tournament Championship - Nieves jumped to the pros and put up two goals and three assists in eight games.
“I had to finish some things up at school,” he said. “But then once I got to Hartford it was all hockey."