As we get through these numbers, the more numbers rarely get wore. Number 83 has only been worn once in franchise history. Worn by a famous Long Beach Native.
Matt Nieto: ’16-’17, present; 117 GP, 22-15-37, 18 PIMs
With the 47th overall selection in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. As a native from Long Beach, California, he was the first person ever to be drafted out of California. Nieto was drafted out of Boston University where he put up very close to a point per game pace throughout his 3 years there. On April 1st 2013, Nieto signed an entry level contract with the team that drafted him. He spent the final part of the season with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL appearing in 11 games registering a respectable 2 goals and 4 assists. He started the next season in the AHL, but it didn’t take long to get a callup. His first full rookie season after turning pro, he was called up to San Jose on October 3rd. He spent over a month there before returning to the AHL, albeit very shortly. He hopped between the two squads a couple times before being called up on December 18th. After that callup he has been on an NHL squad ever since. Though San Jose had some upcoming youngsters who were ready to make the jump and Nieto had played himself out of the lineup. On January 5th 2017, Nieto was placed on waivers by San Jose and was claimed by the Colorado Avalanche. He was a very steady presence on the shutdown line with Carl Soderberg and Blake Comeau. He got consistent playing time and a very important role. The following season, Nieto kept that role and stuck with it for another year. So far Matt Nieto has appeared in 117 games while potting 22 goals and assisting on 15 more. With the departure of Blake Comeau fans are wondering whether Nieto has the chops to stay on Soderberg’s line or if he will be pushed down in favor of more youngsters. He was recently signed to a two year contract at just under $2 million per year.