Detroit Red Wings: Alex Nedeljkovic’s Season So Far

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 16: Alex Nedeljkovic #39 of the Detroit Red Wings reacts following a goal allowed during the first period of the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on December 16, 2021 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 16: Alex Nedeljkovic #39 of the Detroit Red Wings reacts following a goal allowed during the first period of the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on December 16, 2021 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

When the Red Wings acquired Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Jonathan Bernier and a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, hopes were high for the young goaltender. How has his first season playing in the Winged Wheel played out so far? To answer this question, let’s break down his season month-by-month.


Through the month of October, Nedljkovic started four games, played half of another, and had a 1-1-0-2 record. In the first game of the season against Tampa, Nedeljkovic started in net and the Red Wings fell 7-6 in overtime, the first of two overtime losses that Nedeljkovic would face this month. Ned had an average save percentage of 0.902 through the five games he played which is not fantastic but nothing to be upset with either.

Ned’s first victory as a Red Wing was a huge 6-3 game against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 24th where he faced 34 shots, recording a 0.914 SV%. This particular game was full of milestones for the Red Wings rookies as Lucas Raymond recorded his first career hat trick and Ned recorded his first win.


This month started off by alternating Nedeljkovic and Greiss in net but ended in a string of four consecutive starts for Ned. It appeared that he earned his sea legs by the end of November, hoisting a record of 6-2-0-1 and an average save percentage of 0.929. His high performance throughout these ten games proved to Coach Blashill that he was worthy of the starting goalie spot.

Most notably, in the November 30th road game versus Boston, Alex Nedeljkovic walked away with a 0.976 save percentage, only allowing one goal on 42 shots. The Red Wings were hilariously outshot (16-42) in this contest, but a superb performance in net by Nedeljkovic backed up their 2-1 win.


COVID ravaged the league mid-December, causing a league-wide pause and delaying many games. Of the nine games that were played, Nedeljkovic started six of them consecutively. The team as a whole seemed to be entering a slump and had been losing players to COVID protocol, only winning four of nine December games. Ned had a record of 2-4-0-0 and an average save percentage of 0.891.

The biggest win for Nedeljkovic this month was the December 14th home win over the Islanders. Ned faced 34 shots on goal and only allowed one, giving him his highest save percentage of the month (0.971) and bringing the Wings a 2-1 win. This was his second win against the islanders in December, the first of which was a 4-3 overtime victory where he recorded a 0.870 SV%.


Bouncing back from the COVID break, the Red Wings played 15 games in January with Nedeljkovic in net for 12, seven of those being consecutive starts. In his seventh consecutive start versus the Blackhawks, Nedeljkovic was pulled from net after allowing four goals in the first period. This month was a rather turbulent one for the Red Wings in terms of winning games and playing consistently, leaving Ned with a 4-5-0-2 record. Ned would close out the month of January with a 0.897 SV%, an improvement from the month prior while having played in twice as many games.

Alex Nedeljkovic recorded his first shutout in the January 15th game versus the Sabres, an absolutely huge game for the young netminder. He stopped 22 shots on goal allowing his team to celebrate a 4-0 home victory and Ned was able to share this milestone game with his family in attendance. Two days later, Nedeljkovic tallied another win, this time an overtime road win over Buffalo.


So far in February, only two games have been played, both of which started with Nedeljkovic in net. The first of which was a 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings where he kept the Wings in the game, blocking 45 shots on goal and only allowing three goals. His huge save night (0.930 SV%) and overall performance was the main reason this game was not a full blowout as there was no offense provided for a majority of the contest.

Most recently was the 6-3 road win against the Flyers in which Ned only faced 24 shots on goal and allowed three to go in. This may not have been the best game for Nedeljkovic but it was the first win for the Wings on Philly’s ice since 1997. The Red Wings are set to face the Flyers again on February 12th at noon, this time on home ice.


This 2021-22 season started off with a toss-up between Greiss and Nedeljkovic as to who would be the primary starter. Alex Nedeljkovic has fulfilled this role since he began consistently starting in December and has been a fantastic backboard for this young team. With an overall record of 14-13-0-5 this season, Alex Nedeljkovic leads all rookie goalies in wins and has proved to be a key component of this Red Wings team. In his entire NHL career, his record is 31-20-0-9, which is accompanied by a solid save percentage of 0.918. Nedeljkovic has a home in Detroit and in the roster and has shown he’s the real deal through many highlight-reel saves that had the whole league saying his name. His future behind the winged wheel is bright and he is on track to have a solid second half of the season, even having the possibility of appearing in a run for the Stanley Cup if Detroit passes Boston in standings.

Next. Mid-Season grades for the Red Wings prospects in the AHL. dark