Isles send D Niemi to rival Rangers in rare deal

The Rangers are getting defenseman Jyri Niemi from the Islanders

for a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft.

The trade announced Tuesday is the first between the New York

area rivals since forward Ron Stewart was dealt to the Islanders

for cash on Nov. 14, 1972, during the Islanders’ first season.

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.

Niemi was chosen by the Islanders in the third round — the

72nd pick — of the 2008 draft. The 6-foot-2, 192-pound native

of Finland has spent the last three seasons with Saskatoon.