The Detroit Red Wings have acquired goalie Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goalie Jonathan Bernier and a third-round pick in this year’s draft.
Bernier is an unrestricted free agent, meaning the Red Wings are trading his rights to Carolina. Free agency opens July 28. The third-round pick -- 94th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft -- originally was from Vegas as part of the Tomas Tatar trade in 2018. The Red Wings still have a 3rd-round pick in this year’s draft, 70th overall.
Nedeljkovic, 25, was a Calder Trophy (NHL’s top rookie) finalist this past season with 15 wins in 23 games (15-3-1) and a .932 save percentage. He also posted a 4-3-2 record in nine playoff games with a .920 save percentage.
He became a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is now signing him to a two-year contract with a $3 million average annual value, or $3 million against the cap, according to Nedeljkovic’s agent.
Red Wings fans may recognize his name from the Plymouth Whalers, the former OHL team based in Plymouth, Mich. Nedeljkovic played three seasons with the Whalers and was drafted 37th overall by Carolina in 2014 while still with Plymouth.
Bernier, 32, has spent the past three seasons with the Red Wings. He posted a solid .914 this past season with a 9-11-1 record on a losing Detroit team. It was speculated that Bernier would re-sign with the Red Wings, then there were reports that he was testing the free agent market. Bernier also was $3 million against the cap for Detroit this past season.
Nedeljkovic will now join Thomas Greiss as Detroit’s goalie tandem heading into this season, barring any more moves from Yzerman, of course. Greiss was Detroit’s only protected goalie in the Seattle expansion draft. He has one year left on his contract.
The NHL’s freeze on trades lifted at 1 p.m. Thursday.