Journeyman Goaltender Lands With RiverKings
Southaven, MS – When you’ve played for 17 different teams in nine different leagues over the past decade, odds are there are no guarantees what city you’ll be suiting up in next.
Such is the life of 29-year old goaltender Nick Niedert, whose new home, at least for next year, will be between the pipes at the Desoto Civic Center for the Mississippi RiverKings.
The career for the 5’8″ 185 pound native of Hudson, Iowa consists of 254 games played, featuring an overall record of 115-90. Over that span from 2001-02 to 2010-11, Niedert has registered a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 3.90 and an average save percentage of .893.
Nick started in the North American Hockey League (NAHL); playing briefly with the Texas Tornado during the 2001-02 campaign, before spending the entire 2002-03 season with the Springfield Jr. Blues. In his first full season with the squad, Niedert played in 47 games, posting a record of 17-21-6 with a 3.93 GAA and a save percentage of .875.
Niedert’s career path then brought him to the now defunct Continental Elite Hockey League (CEHL), a Junior A league that existed from 2001-04. He split his time during the 2003-04 season between the Brownstown Bombers and Traverse City Enforcers. He played a total of 14 games that year, finishing with a record of 5-5, struggling a bit along the way with a 6.30 GAA and .845 save percentage.
>From 2004-05 to 2006-07, Niedert began a tear through the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). He played for three former league franchises, including the Macon Trax, Asheville Aces, and Florida Seals, as well as two current franchises, with the Columbus Cottonmouths and Huntsville Havoc.
Niedert will look to improve upon his already established SPHL statistics, which consists of 38 games played and a 3.61 GAA to go along with a .895 save percentage. His overall record in the SPHL currently sits at 10-17-1.
In 2008, Nick was invited to the Reading Royals’ training camp in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) as a “walk-on.” He was released by the team but re-signed for one game as an emergency back-up goaltender.
After that positive experience, Niedert had the best overall performance of his career for the Jersey Rockhoppers of the former Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL). Playing in 42 games, he compiled a record of 25-15-2 with a 3.80 GAA and .905 save percentage. This performance earned Niedert high honors in the EPHL as he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Over the next year, Nick continued to bounce around from league to league and team to team, lacing up the pads for the Madison Ice Muskies of the former All American Hockey League (AAHL), Flint Generals of the former International Hockey League (IHL) and the West Michigan Blizzard of the AAHL.
Most recently, Niedert starred for the Danbury Whalers of the Federal Hockey League (FHL). He posted a record of 19-14-3 in 38 games before being called up for a stint with the Dayton Gems of the Central Hockey League (CHL).
In three appearances with the Gems, Nick went 0-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA and .950 save percentage.
“Derek’s the new coach now and what really excites me is that he’s going to put together a team to resembling the way he played,” says Niedert. “He was always a competitor and in the right areas, and I really respect the way he played and think he’ll be one heck of a coach.”
Niedert recognizes how special a 20th anniversary is and encourages the fans to give the Southern Professional Hockey League a chance. “Twenty years is huge…year in and year out teams come and go and you never know who will be around next year. That says a lot about the fans in the area and the organization. The fans may be saying it’s the SPHL and the product isn’t going to be as good, but I’d have to disagree. The league is exciting, competitive, and it is a good brand of hockey so I hope we still have (the fans) support.”
Mississippi RiverKings PR