Nick Niedert, an end to an adventurous career.
Written by: Mathew Torgerson
Columbus-GA, As the clock ticked down to zero everyone on both teams focused on perhaps the bigger story of the evening, the FPHL's longest tenured goalkeeper Nick Niedert was calling it a day on his seventeen year hockey career. The Hudson, IA native first came to the Federal league with the Danbury Whalers during the 2010/11 season, everyone in the minor pro circuit already knew how good of a goalkeeper he was and you didn't need to look back too far as he had a 25-1 season with the Indiana Ice Minors of the MAHL.
The list of franchises he has played for in the Federal league is as long as your arm: Danbury Whalers, Watertown Privateers, Danville Dashers, Dayton Demons, Watertown Wolves, Danbury Titans, Carolina Thunderbirds, Elmira Enforcers, Danbury Hat Tricks, Port Huron Prowlers. Via all of those clubs, Nick played over two hundred FPHL games and won the Commissioners Cup with the Watertown Wolves at the conclusion of the 2014/15 playoffs.
Seventeen seasons of pro hockey saw Nick journey not only through our league but through many others such as the SPHL where Niedert saw action with a wide variety of clubs including the Reading Royals ( a favourite of his ), Columbus Cottonmouths and Augusta RiverHawks just to name a few.
During the 2011/12 season Nick was signed by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League where he backstopped Kevin Poulin against the then Albany Devils. This would be the same season that Nick would dress for six different hockey teams in three different leagues none of which were of the same calibre of play.
Another Gem moment would come in 2018, the Reading Royals were in rough shape between the pipes. Austin Lotz was injured, Angus Redmond was concussed it all came down to Assistant Coach Marcou calling Niedert and he was suddenly the starting goalie. No matter the circumstances Nick was always game and this time he showed exactly what he could really do turning aside thirty eight shots in a shocking 2-1 victory over the Adirondack Thunder, this was his first ECHL start in over a thousand days.
Back home in the FPHL Nick was the consummate teammate who would do anything for his team, just two nights ago while the Prowlers were down two players due to suspension the club found themselves short a player, never one to shirk duty when it calls, Nick dressed as a player alongside his teammates, took warmups and was ready to go at any point needed for the next sixty minutes. I could tell you a hundred stories about him in the FPHL but I think that last one sums it up nicely.
Frankly there is so much to his career that it would take us all day to write everything down so we will leave it all at just this. Thank you Nick Niedert for your eleven seasons of work in the Federal Hockey League and thank you for being the definition of a class act the whole way. Congratulations on the conclusion of your seventeen year pro hockey career. Legends never die and yours certainly won't.