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Colorado Avalanche sign Matt Nieto to a $1 million contract

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The Avs avoid going to arbitration with Nieto and settle for a $1m deal.

Colorado Avalanche v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Earlier this morning we were speculating on Twitter that the Colorado Avalanche would likely settle with forward Matt Nieto before the two sides got to arbitration.

The two sides looked close to putting together a one year deal, and now Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night In Canada is reporting that the team has agreed to a one year, $1 million contract.

The 24-year old winger that was picked up off of waivers last season, spent 43 games in the Avalanche lineup contributing 7 goals and 4 assists.

After being selected in the second round by the San Jose Sharks back in 2011, Nieto hasn’t lived up to the potential many saw when he was putting up more than a point per game as a sophomore at Boston University. At $1m, he will spend this season trying to prove he is worth a more long-term commitment from the team.

Nieto is a guy that many believe can excel in the right situation. His underlying numbers suggest that he should produce more than he does and he is a guy that has the ability to suppress shots rather successfully.

Hero Chart from http://ownthepuck.blogspot.com/

He had the best Corsi % of any Avs forward 5 on 5 last season and was their best shot suppressing winger outside of the captain.

Like with a number of young Avs forwards, this will be a make or break year for Nieto and he’s definitely a guy that has the skill to take advantage if given the opportunity. I expect Nieto’s production to jump quite a bit this season and for the Avs to look to lock him up long term.

What are you expecting from him this season?