Rink Rat: Matt Nieto

Matt Nieto

Colorado Avalanche

No. 83



Position: Forward

Shoots: Left

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 185 pounds

Birthday: Nov. 5, 1992

Hometown: South Beach, Calif.

College Team: Boston University

Draft Status: Selected by the San Jose Sharks in the 2ndround (47thoverall) of the 2011 NHL Draft



Pregame Ritual: I don't really have one, but I do eat at the same place before every game

Pregame Meal: Pasta

Favorite Video Game: Fortnite

Favorite Player Growing Up: Paul Kariya of the Anaheim Ducks

Favorite Player to Watch Now: Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) or Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)

Goalie You Least Like Going Against: Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)

Favorite City to Play In: Chicago (They have great fan turnout and the national anthem gives me chills)

Favorite Hockey Memory: Playing in my first NHL game  (Oct. 3, 2013 against the Vancouver Canucks)

First NHL Goal: Scored Oct. 8, 2013 againstHenrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers

What Do You Do In The Offseason: I spend my summers with friends and family in California



Support From His Family: "Just a lot of sacrifice, a lot of extra work to make sure I could travel and play in tournaments and in youth hockey as a kid. It was a lot of commitment by them to help me get to this point."


His No. 1 Fan: "My sister is the best. She's dual-diagnosed with down syndrome and autism. I facetime with her all the time when I'm here and she's back home. She's watching every game and whenever there's hockey on TV, she's saying my name. She knows how to say number 83 and she knows when I'm on TV, so I can always count on her support."


USA Hockey Experience: "I was fortunate to play two years [with the National Team Development Program] in Ann Arbor. That was a really good experience for me and got me ready for the next level. I can't say enough about the program there. In terms of hockey, it's lights out. You're playing with the best guys in the country and you're able to travel to play the best plays from other countries as well. It's just a really cool experience."



"When I was growing up, I looked up to Scott Gomez. I remember watching him and thinking, 'I could be there one day.' I just hope Hispanic kids, and kids of all nationalities, are watching the NHL and thinking the same thing."



Instagram: None

Twitter: None




Who is your favorite American player?
Auston Matthews
Jason Robertson
Tage Thompson
Matthew Tkachuk
Patrick Kane
Total votes: 395