Islanders send D Niemi to Rangers for pick in 1st deal between rivals since 1972

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The New York Rangers acquired defenceman Jyri Niemi from the New York Islanders on Tuesday for a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft.

The trade was the first between the rivals since forward Ron Stewart was dealt to the Islanders for cash on Nov. 14, 1972, during the Islanders’ first season.

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The 19-year-old Niemi played in 50 games with Saskatoon of the Western Hockey League last season. He had eight goals and 21 assists with a plus-9 rating.

The Finn was chosen by the Islanders in the third round of the 2008 draft. The six-foot-two 192-pounder has spent the last three seasons with the Blades.