This is a make it or break it year for Theodor Niederbach in terms of his future as a Detroit Red Wings prospect. One game into the SHL season with MoDo Hockey, Niederbach is already being dealt a bad break.
Oddly enough, it’s happening due to the arrival of a player who spent last season in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit’s top farm club. MoDo is signing forward Danny O’Regan, who finished out the 2022-23 AHL campaign with Grand Rapids.
— Around The Horn Hockey (@ATHornHockey) September 20, 2023
Modo’s plan is to insert O’Regan, a right-shot center who’s also played on the wing, on the right side of their top line. That’s where Niederbach was performing in MoDo’s season opener.
Third SHL Season For Niederbach
In that game, a 2-1 overtime loss to fellow Red Wings draftee Axel Sandin Pellikka and Skelleftea, Niederbach was skating 18:49 of ice time, finishing even with one hit. It’s Niederbach’s third season in the SHL. He spent all of the 2021-22 campaign with Frolunda. Starting out last season with Rogle, Niederbach was dropping down to MoDo in the Allsvenskan (Swedish second division), helping the club regain promotion to the SHL.
Niederbach in preseason🚨 pic.twitter.com/Z7lGvHX4PG
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) August 23, 2023
O’Regan, 29, is an American who was born in Berlin while his father, former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom O’Regan, was playing pro hockey in Germany. In 2016-1y he was winning the AHL Rookie of the Year by amassing 58 points (23-35-58) in 63 games with the San Jose Barracuda. The 5-10 forward was the 138th overall selection by the San Jose Sharks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. O’Regan has appeared in 30 NHL contests and has one goal and five assists.
In 39 games last season for the Griffins, O’Regan was good for 14 goals and 17 assists. Expectations are that he will be making his MoDo debut on Saturday against Malmo
“Danny . . . has very good game sense and is a good passer, but he can also finish,” MoDo sporting director Henrik Gradin told Expressen.se. “An offensively skilled player.”
Detroit’s 51st overall selection in the 2020 NHL entry draft, Niederbach must be signing a contract with the team prior to the 2024 draft or the Red Wings will be relinquishing his NHL rights.