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Photo courtesy of FrolundaIndians.com

Fantasy Summary

An extremely smart and skilled offensive player with top-six upside. A pass-first type player with high-end playmaking abilities. A natural center but there are some concerns about his ability to play down the middle at the pro level. A difficult player to evaluate because he missed the entire 2018-2019 season due to knee injury.


Observations

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January 2021 – After a handful of Swedish players became unavailable due to COVID protocols, Niederbach was thrust into a prominent role centering Sweden’s top forward line with Alexander Holtz and fellow Red Wings prospect, Lucas Raymond. The 2020 second-round pick did not look out of place but was perhaps tasked with too much as an 18-year-old playing the role of number one center. Niederbach finished the tournament with two goals over five contests and will look to improve upon those totals at next year’s WJC, where he should be better prepared to take on such an important role. Nick Richard

December 2020 – Niederbach began the season playing in Sweden’s J20 Nationell league and quickly proved he was worthy of a greater challenge after registering 35 points in 19 games. He was subsequently called up to Frolunda’s SHL squad, joining fellow Detroit prospects Lucas Raymond and Elder Soderblom. He has played sparingly and scored just one goal through his first 11 games at the men’s level but he is one of several Red Wings prospects that will have a chance to put his skills on display for Sweden at the World Juniors later this month. Nick Richard

October 2020 – Niederbach was drafted 51st overall by the Red Wings. Niederbach is expected to spend another two or three years in Sweden before crossing the pond.  Jokke Nevalainen

May 2020 – Niederbach missed the entire 2018-2019 season with a knee injury but he managed to have a great 2019-2020 season despite that. He finished the season with 15 goals and 48 points in 40 SuperElit games. Most of his points were scored on the power play which is slightly concerning. But he hadn’t played hockey for a year, he had never played at the under-20 level before, and he spent most of the season playing on the third line on a stacked Frölunda J20 team, so it makes sense that his even strength production wasn’t as good. He definitely excels on the power play where there’s more room to maneuver and less physical battling. At even strength, Niederbach was a little soft and clearly lacked strength to battle consistently even at the junior level. But those are likely caused by the missed season and not a long-term concern. Niederbach is an extremely smart and skilled offensive player. He is a natural playmaker which is why he’s more effective at center, although he has played a bit on the wing as well. He has high-end passing skills and vision, and he’s very creative with the puck. He is also a very good skater, and he will get even better once he adds some power to his legs. All those tools give him top-six upside. Niederbach’s defensive game is a bit of a concern right now, especially if he wants to stay at center. But taking the missed season and his hockey smarts into consideration, there are reasons to believe it will get better. Niederbach is a bit of a project who will likely spend another year on the Frölunda junior team before pushing for a spot on their SHL roster. It might take him three or four years before he’s pushing for an NHL job. Because of the missed season, he is about one year behind in development compared to his peers. But Niederbach’s long-term potential is very high. He’s currently projected to be drafted in the second round but he could end up being one of the top 20 players from this draft class.  Jokke Nevalainen

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 5.5
Country SWE
Position C
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth February 25, 2002
Height 5‘11”
Weight 172 lbs
Drafted 2020 Round 2; Overall: 51

Stats

Highlights