Detroit — The Red Wings will have a new look in net next season.
The Wings acquired goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes for the rights to unrestricted free-agent goaltender Jonathan Bernier and a third-round draft pick (Vegas’, 94th overall) in this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft.
Nedeljkovic, 25, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, and was reportedly going to ask approximately $3.5 million for next season.
Rather than agree to a contract, the Hurricanes traded the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) finalist.
Nedeljkovic agreed to a two-year contract with the Wings for $6 million ($3 million per season salary cap hit).
Nedeljkovic, in his first extended opportunity with the Hurricanes, had a breakthrough season. Nedeljkovic had a 15-5-3 record in 23 appearances, with a sparkling 1.90 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.
The Hurricanes then went to Nedeljkovic eventually in the playoffs, where he again impressed going 4-5-0 (2.17 GAA, .920).
But with the Hurricanes facing a bit of a salary crunch, and not willing to go beyond a certain figure with the young goalie, they made the trade.
Nedeljkovic will split the Wings’ net with Thomas Greiss, and given Nedeljkovic’s age, somewhat cures the problem of not having a goaltending prospect in the organization.
Nedelkjovic, a Parma, Ohio native, played junior hockey in the Detroit area with Belle Tire and the Plymouth Whalers.
With Belle Tire, Nedeljkovic was teammates with Dylan Larkin, Kyle Connor (Clinton Township;/Winnipeg Jets) and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe/Columbus Blue Jackets).