Mathias Niederberger - Barrie Colts
5'10" - 160 LBS
D.O.B. November 26, 1992
There are those that believe that if it wasn't for Niederberger's size, he would have been drafted by an NHL team last season and it is his wish to come over and play Major Junior so that he can showcase his stuff.
But just how much can he show in Barrie with a logjam in the net there? At the time of the draft, Colts Assistant GM Jason Ford said "We talked to some of his coaches and guys who played junior that know what it takes to be a good goalie in junior and we've been told he can push for a No. 1 job and be that type of goalie coming in."
The Colts now have 6 goalies in their system. At least 2 of them will be in Junior A or Junior B leaving 4 goalies to fight for 2 positions. Ford added, "We wouldn't have gone and taken a younger goalie, because we've got good, younger goalies in the system that we feel pretty highly about. We took a goalie that we figured would come over here and be ready to play, and play a lot."
Niederberger brings with him a resume full of international experience. The 18 year old German played professional last season in his native Germany backing up former NHL'er J.S. Aubin. He's played for Germany in the Under 17, Under 18 and Under 19 tournaments.
Niederberger was the NHL Central Scouting's top ranked German Goaltender in 2011. Despite his size, Niederberger is a true butterfly goaltender who uses his reflexes to make up for his lack of size. He plays his angles well and his rebound control is average as is his ability to read the play.
Niederberger may not see as many pucks in the OHL as he does playing for Germany or in Germany but he will be playing against better competition. And this could be his last kick at the can to showcase himself. His number one priority right now: take the starters job and go from there.