Boudreau: Struggling Niederreiter 'has lost his confidence a little bit'
The Swiss-born winger has been invisible thus far, going goalless on 14 shots with a pair of assists through the first eight games.
Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke candidly about Niederreiter, admitting the 26-year-old's morale has been suffering as a result of his struggles.
"In some way, we've got to find his confidence," Boudreau told The Athletic's Michael Russo. "He's lost his confidence a little bit."
Niederreiter is just two years removed from a breakout 25-goal, 57-point campaign in 2016-17. Last season he dealt with injuries and wasn't quite the same player, picking up 32 points in 63 games.
Boudreau is intent on allowing Niederreiter to fight through his slump.
"Right now, it's just, 'Keep throwing him out there, keep throwing him out there,'" Boudreau said. "And you know ... We've talked to him, and sometimes we talk to him too much. And everybody talks to him and everybody's worried about Nino. Just, we're letting Nino play."
Niederreiter is averaging just over 14 minutes per night, which would stand to be his lowest ice time average since his first season in Minnesota as a 21-year-old.
"He'll get out of it" Boudreau continued. "His history of him as an NHL player is he'll come out of it and he'll start playing good. I think we're all too worried about Nino right now. And I expect him very shortly to get a game where he knocks one in and then all of a sudden takes off."
Slow starts aren't out of the ordinary for Niederreiter as he's never totaled more than four points through his first eight games. Over his career, November has been his most productive month by quite a wide margin, so all it may take is a flip of the calendar before he starts filling the net.