By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
Junior Matt Nieto will begin his professional career and sign an entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks Monday, according to his mother, Mary. The forward reported to Worcester to sign and join the Sharks’ AHL affiliate.
Nieto’s decision to forgo his senior year comes just nine days after the conclusion of a season in which he led the team in goals (18) and finished second in total points (37) behind linemate and fellow Sharks prospect Danny O’Regan. Nieto struggled for much of the season but turned it on down the stretch, netting 28 of his 37 points after the new year.
The decision caps a three-year career in scarlet and white, highlighted by a 42-point (16 goals, 26 assists) as a sophomore. He netted 10 goals and 13 assists as a rookie in 2010-11.
The Long Beach, Calif., native was drafted by the Sharks in the second round (47th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft.