The Carolina Hurricanes were able to lock up restricted free agent goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic to a new contract in short order.
The reigning Aldege “Baz” Bastien award winner as the AHL’s goaltender of the year agreed to a new two-year contract with the Hurricanes on Friday. It is a two-way deal for next season, meaning it will pay different salaries depending on if he is in the AHL or NHL, and a one-way NHL deal for the following 2020-21 campaign.
“Alex had an outstanding season in Charlotte last year and was a major part of the Checkers’ success,” said Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell in a team release. “We expect him to contend for a roster spot with the Hurricanes in training camp.”
Nedeljkovic posted a 34-9-5 record and 2.26 goals-against average this past season, both of which led all AHL netminders. He then went 10-4 in the playoffs to help the Checkers capture the first Calder Cup championship in team history. The native of Parma, Ohio, won his first NHL start in Vancouver on Jan. 23, making 24 saves.
The Hurricanes’ second-round draft choice in 2014 (37th overall), Nedeljkovic joins recent trade acquisition Anton Forsberg as the most experienced goaltenders currently under contract and in the mix to start with Carolina. Both of the team’s netminders from last season, Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney, will become unrestricted free agents if not re-signed by July 1.