The former first-round pick (fifth overall, 2010) is unhappy with his current situation, the source said, and feels he would be better served playing somewhere else.
The 20-year-old Swiss winger, who spent more than half the season with the big club last season, was not even invited to the team's training camp despite leading the team's AHL affiliate in scoring. Niederreiter has 19 goals and 17 assists in 39 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
His agent informed Islanders general manager Garth Snow of the request last week, the source said, although Snow is not believed to be amenable to doing a deal -- at least at the moment.
"Any conversations I have regarding players, that remains confidential," Snow said when reached via phone for comment.
Snow wouldn't discuss a possible trade but said he is open to calling up Niederreiter in the future this season.
"Yeah, absolutely. Nino is one of our top prospects in the organization. We felt it was best for his development long-term to play in Bridgeport," Snow said.
Multiple NHL scouts told ESPNNewYork.com that if Snow did express a willingness to move Niederreiter, several teams would have interest, especially with how well he has played in the American Hockey League this season.
There has been growing concern about Niederreiter's development since last season. Although the young prospect appeared in 55 games for the Islanders, he was used in a limited role. He managed only one goal, causing many to feel he'd be better off playing with his junior club (since he was 19, he wasn't old enough to be in Bridgeport) and to speculate that the team could be keeping him around for cap purposes (i.e., his entry-level contract bonuses helped the team hover slightly above the cap floor).
During the lockout, Niederreiter began the year in Bridgeport and has flourished, leaving him and his camp baffled as to why he didn't get a chance to crack the Islanders' roster.