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Matt Niskanen | Defenseman

Team: Washington Capitals
Age / DOB:  (28) / 12/6/1986
Ht / Wt:  6'0' / 209
Contract: view contract details

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Recent News

Matt Niskanen had two assists on Friday.
Niskanen did not have a good offensive season in his first year with Washington as he ended the season with four goals and 31 points after a 10 goal and 46 point effort with Pittsburgh in 2013-14. But the defenseman was certainly stellar offensively Friday to lead the Capital rearguards in points. Apr 18 - 10:27 AM

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Matt Niskanen scored the overtime winner and added an assist as the Caps toppled the Devils 3-2 on Thursday night.

Niskanen beat Cory Schneider early in the extra frame to save the Caps, who blew a lead in the final minute of regulation. Niskanen's pair of points gave him five points in his last four games. On the year, the 28-year-old has 26 points in 74 games.
Mar 26 - 11:47 PM

Matt Niskanen had two assists in a 4-3 shootout victory over Buffalo.

It was Niskanen's first multi-point game since Jan. 27. He's gone from recording 46 points with Pittsburgh last season to 23 points in 71 contests in 2014-15.
Mar 17 - 11:42 AM

Matt Niskanen recorded an assist in a 2-1 loss to Minnesota.

Niskanen snapped a five-game point drought. He has three goals and 21 points in 66 games in 2014-15, which is a far cry from his 2013-14 46-point campaign with Pittsburgh.
Mar 6 - 11:37 AM

Matt Niskanen had two assists in a 4-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night.

Niskanen has two goals and 17 points in 47 contests this season. That's a huge step down from his 46-point showing in 2013-14 and while it's obviously too late to replicate that success, we wouldn't dismiss the possibility of him finishing the 2014-15 campaign on a high note.
Jan 28 - 11:40 AM

Matt Niskanen got an assist in a 1-0 win over Philadelphia.

After recording 46 points last season, Niskanen has just two goals and 14 points in 43 games in 2014-15. The fact that he's declined this season isn't surprising, but the degree to which he's fallen is. We wouldn't be surprised if he does at least a bit better in the second half of the season.
Jan 15 - 11:46 AM

Matt Niskanen (lower body injury) is expected to play Wednesday night against the Maple Leafs.

Apparently the injury was minor. However, with only 12 points and little else so far this season, his level of disappointment remains major to poolies everywhere.
Jan 7 - 7:00 PM

Matt Niskanen scored a goal in a 5-3 victory on Tuesday.

Niskanen has two goals and 11 points in 27 contests in 2014-15. That's a big step back from his 46-point campaign with Pittsburgh last season. Niskanen might heat up as the season progresses, but we wouldn't count on that happening.
Wed, Dec 10, 2014 09:43:00 AM

Matt Niskanen potted his first goal of the season in the Capitals’ 2-1 loss to the Sabres on Saturday night.

The Capitals’ big-money defenseman scored on the power play. It has not been the start anyone envisioned for the 27-year-old who is coming off his best offensive season. Niskanen has just six points this season and hadn’t found the scoresheet since Nov. 7. Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson picked up the helpers.
Sat, Nov 22, 2014 09:54:00 PM

Matt Niskanen had two assists in Washington's 3-2 win over Chicago on Friday.

Niskanen needed a night like this after a quiet start to the 2014-15 campaign. Even after Friday's contest, he has just five assists in 13 games. He had 46 points in 2013-14, but he hasn't been able to consistently perform at that level offensively over the course of his career, so he's a substantial risk going forward.
Sat, Nov 8, 2014 11:19:00 AM

Matt Niskanen was a minus-three on Saturday.

As was his defense partner Karl Alzner. Niskanen had a lot of poolies excited after a big season with the Penguins in 2013-14 with 10 goals and 46 points but it has been anything but that this season as he had three assists with a minus-two rating in 10 games.
Sun, Nov 2, 2014 09:18:00 AM

It looks like Matt Niskanen will not be punished for his high hit on Jeff Skinner.

Niskanen defended himself by saying that Skinner spun into his elbow. Skinner has a concussion as a result of the incident.
Tue, Oct 7, 2014 10:38:00 AM

Matt Niskanen registered two assists in Washington’s 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Niskanen played just over 20 minutes in the game. He assisted on Jason Chimera’s first period goal and on Brooks Laich’s second period short-handed goal. Niskanen was also involved in a scary play where he made contact with Jeff Skinner’s head. Skinner skated off and looked dazed after the collision. The Capitals signed Niskanen to a huge seven-year contract this off-season and they are hoping he can continue to produce like he did on Sunday. This was the NHL’s last preseason game of 2014.
Sun, Oct 5, 2014 05:45:00 PM

Part of the reason Matt Niskanen decided to sign a seven-year, $40.25 million contract with the Capitals was the presence of head coach Barry Trotz.

Trotz is very well-respected in hockey circles after the success he managed to achieve during his tenure in Nashville and this was very much part of Niskanen's thought process. "I heard nothing but great things about Barry Trotz and the way things are going there," Niskanen said after signing with the club. In addition, both Brooks Orpik and newly-signed backup goaltender Justin Peters admitted they were swayed by a conversation they had with Trotz before signing in Washington as free agents.
Sun, Jul 6, 2014 06:08:00 PM

Matt Niskanen knows that his new contract carries higher expectations and he feels he will be up for the challenge.

"I've played essentially top-four minutes for 80 percent of the year last year. I had a lot of responsibility and at times I was the oldest defenseman by far on our team and our team had a lot of success," he said. "I had a good year. It definitely was a breakout year, and now the challenge for me is to try to keep moving forward. That's one thing me and Todd [Reirden] talked about, how do you get a little better this week, this season. I look forward to working with him some more." The two of them have a relationship from back in Pittsburgh. Niskanen amassed 10 goals, 46 points and a plus-33 rating in 81 games last season.
Fri, Jul 4, 2014 09:51:00 AM

Depth Charts

All Positions
C1Nicklas Backstrom
2Evgeny Kuznetsov
3Andre Burakovsky
4Michael Latta
5Liam O'Brien
LW1Alex Ovechkin
2Marcus Johansson
3Jason Chimera
4Brooks Laich
RW1T.J. Oshie
2Justin Williams
3Tom Wilson
4Jay Beagle
D1John Carlson
2Matt Niskanen
3Karl Alzner
4Brooks Orpik
5Dmitry Orlov
6Nate Schmidt
7Taylor Chorney
G1Braden Holtby
2Philipp Grubauer
3Justin Peters