The San Jose Sharks managed to avoid going to salary arbitration with Matt Nieto. The forward — who was a restricted free agent — agreed to terms on a one-year extension with the Pacific Division club on Friday afternoon. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports is reporting that the deal is worth $735,000 and is a one-way contract.
It only seemed like a matter of time before the Sharks came to terms with the Long Beach, California native. San Jose doesn’t have a ton of cap space to work with right now, but the odds of seeing Nieto play for another team next season were always small.
In 2015-16, the former second-round pick (2011) posted eight goals and 17 points through 67 games for San Jose. He struggled with an upper-body injury during the end of the campaign, though he skated in 16 playoff games for the Sharks. During the postseason he notched one goal and added two assists.
His 17 points marked a 10-point decline from what he managed in 2014-15, but missing the final few weeks of the regular season seem to be to blame for this dip. Nieto has been a solid bottom-six forward for San Jose, generating shots at a decent rate while helping the Sharks hang onto the puck more often than not while out on the ice.
All told Nieto has played in 205 contests for the Sharks since making his debut in 2013-14. He has 28 career goals to go along with 40 assists.