The Colorado Avalanche announced Tuesday that the team has signed forward Matt Nieto to a one-year contract for the 2017-18 season.
Nieto, 24, was claimed off waivers by Colorado on Jan. 5, 2017, and played in 43 of the Avalanche’s remaining 44 games. He finished with 11 points (7g/4a) for the Avs and matched career highs with two goals on Feb. 4 against Winnipeg and two assists against the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 25. Nieto only missed a March 15 contest against the Detroit Red Wings due to a knee injury.
“Matt brought speed and offensive depth to our team in the second half of last season,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President/General Manager Joe Sakic. “He brings energy to our lineup, and we look forward to having him under contract for 2017-18.”
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound left wing had previously spent his entire professional career with the San Jose Sharks organization, accumulating 70 points (28g/42a) in 221 games with San Jose. A second-round pick (47th overall) of the Sharks in the 2011 NHL Draft, Nieto played collegiate hockey at Boston University, where he totaled 102 points (44g/58a) in 115 career games.
The Long Beach, Calif., native also played for the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2008-10, winning back-to-back gold medals with Team USA at the 2009 and 2010 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Nieto is the fourth California-born player to dress in a game for the Avalanche, joining Scott Parker, Ray Macias and Rocco Grimaldi.