Vancouver Canucks: 11 NCAA UFAs Vancouver Could Target

Apr 9, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Providence College Friars forward Mark Jankowski (10) celebrates his goal on Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks goaltender Ryan Masa (31) during the second period of a semifinal game in the men
Apr 9, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Providence College Friars forward Mark Jankowski (10) celebrates his goal on Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks goaltender Ryan Masa (31) during the second period of a semifinal game in the men /
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C/LW Cristoval “Boo” Nieves

Cristoval “Boo” Nieves was drafted out of the USHS, 59th overall by the New York Rangers, in 2012. He did finish the 2011-12 campaign with the USHL’s Indiana Ice, where he recorded two goals and 10 points in 13 games, but it was still hard to determine his true potential. Like all players that play lower than the USHL in their draft year, Nieves was a high-risk, high-reward pick.

Luckily for the Rangers, Nieves transitioned nicely to the NCAA level in 2012-13, when he recorded eight goals and 29 points in 40 games in his freshman year at the University of Michigan. Unfortunately, he was unable to keep that up.

Nieves had a disastrous start into his sophomore campaign, scoring just nine points in the first 24 games of the year, but he finished strong with 12 points in his final 10 games.

A 6-foot-3 centre, Nieves never used his body as much as he should. However, he put in the work over the past two seasons, and he now weighs in at 200 pounds. He started to use his body more, especially in puck battles along the boards.

Thanks to Michigan’s centre depth, Nieves was moved to the wing following his sophomore year. One may think his playmaking skills would make him best at centre, but he did a great job adjusting to the new position. Nieves is now ready to make the jump to the pros — and he can pick his destination.

According to Steve Kornacki of MGoBlue.com, Nieves is in permanent contact with the Rangers. But, as we all know, that means nothing after August 15th.

Next: Outlook