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Alex Nedeljkovic Signs Entry Level Contract

Alex Nedeljkovic Signs Entry Level Contract
Plymouth Whalers rookie Alex Nedeljkovic steers a sot into the corner. (Photo by Rena Laverty, Plymouth Whalers)

With his OHL season finished in Plymouth, Alex Nedeljkovic will finish the rest of the year with Charlotte of the AHL. (Photo by Rena Laverty, Plymouth Whalers)

The Carolina Hurricanes announced that they have signed 2014 second round draft pick Alex Nedeljkovic to a 3-year entry level contract, and he has been assigned to Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

The contract is worth $700,000 at the NHL level in 2015-16, $750,000 in 2016-17 and $800,000 in 2017-18. While playing for Charlotte, he’ll make $70,000 in each season. The contract also includes a signing bonus of $277,500.

The Ohio native has played his entire OHL career with the Plymouth Whalers, finishing this season by appearing in 55 games, posting a 20-28-7 record, 3.13 GAA, and .916 save percentage.

In a previous interview with InGoal magazine, Nedeljkovic was asked to describe his game:

“I would say my game it pretty simple. I would describe myself as kind of a hybrid goalie. I just try to make the easy saves whenever I can and then when my team needs me to, I make the hard saves. But I try not to make my job harder than what it is and that is just stopping the puck. I have to do that whatever way I can, whether that’s diving across the net or just getting in front of a shot I gotta do what I gotta do to stop the puck and guys in front of me make my job a lot easier, boxing out so I can see the puck, blocking shots, or taking backdoor passes away so I can focus on the shot.”

Plymouth Whalers rookie standout Alex Nedeljkovic (Photo by Rena Laverty, Plymouth Whalers)

(Photo by Rena Laverty, Plymouth Whalers)

Nedeljkovic, who was taken by the Canes at 37th overall in 2014, is listed at six feet tall. With six-foot-two being the average height of a pro goaltender, this continues the trend of Carolina taking risks on smaller goaltenders. When calculated at the start of the season, the Hurricanes had the lowest average goaltender height out of any NHL organization.

Although he may be on the smaller side, Nedeljkovic makes up for it with athleticism and a keen eye. He was known around the OHL as one of the smarter goaltenders in the league, and has the ability to make key saves at crucial points in the game.

The Hurricanes also signed Rasmus Tirronen of Merrimack College to a 1-year entry level contract earlier in the week. Tirronen is listed at six-foot-three, and gives the organization some much needed size in net.

The team has received better goaltending this season from Cam Ward, but it’s clear that they are keeping their options open for the future. Both Ward and Anton Khudobin become unrestricted free agents at the end of next season.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.