NA3HL, Jets grad Nedeljkovic backstopping US World Junior team
December 28, 2015
Former NA3HL and Metro Jets goalie Alex Nedelkovic has been very good between the pipes for the United States U20 team competing at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Finland.
On Saturday, Nedeljkovic made 25 saves as the United States defeated Canada, 4-2. On Monday, Nedeljkovic made 22 saves, several of them spectacular ones, as the United States fell to Sweden, 1-0.
For the tournament, Nedeljkovic has started and played in both games for the United States, who are 1-1 in their pool. He has allowed just three goals in the two games, good for a 1.50 goals against average and stopped 47 of 50 shots against, good for a 94.0% save percentage.
The 19-year-old native of Parma, Ohio spent the majority if November and December with the Metro Jets in the NA3HL. He made an immediate impact as he was named as the NA3HL Goaltender of the Month in November. He was in goal for all four of the Jets wins in November as he posted a perfect 4-0 record along with a 94.2% save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average. During the month of November, he stopped 129 of a possible 137 shots on goal.
He went on to play five more games in the NA3HL during December and January. In total, he posted a 5-3-0 record with a 2.49 goals against average and a 93.3% save percentage.
Former Jets head coach and current Midland University head coach Jason Cirone said at the time that it was all part of the learning and growth process for the young Nedeljkovic. “He was in our league to get some experience and he faced quite a few shots in the games he played,” said Cirone. “I think our team fed off his confidence while he was here and everyone played a little more inspired. I think he brought a certain level of exposure to the team. He has a very bright future ahead of him that hopefully one day, includes playing in the NHL.”
Nedeljkovic was the recipient of the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year award during the 2013-14 season. In the summer of 2014, he was selected in the 2nd round (#37 overall) of the NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Nedeljkovic currently plays for the Niagara IceDogs in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).