Jan 16: Both have cleared waivers and can now be assigned to the minor leagues.
Jan 15: A pair of players are on the waiver wire today. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Detroit Red Wings have waived former rookie sensation Alex Nedeljkovic, while the Dallas Stars have waived forward Nicholas Caamano.
Nedeljkovic’s storybook run in 2020-21 with the Carolina Hurricanes seems like a distant memory now. As a 25-year-old rookie, the 37th overall selection in 2014 led the league with a .932 save percentage and 1.90 goals-against average as Carolina starter Petr Mrazek missed most of the season with an injury.
He was then dealt to Detroit, where while his numbers dropped last season, they were still quite respectable as he neared 60 starts behind a team with many holes. It hasn’t been the same results this year, though, as a .880 save percentage and 2-4-2 record in just eight starts have caused him to slip to third on the team’s goalie depth chart behind Ville Husso and waiver claim Magnus Hellberg.
Nedeljkovic has already spent six games in the minors this season on conditioning stints, but he will now need to clear waivers to continue playing there. Even as a pending unrestricted free agent, his $3MM cap hit is likely prohibitive for any team needing goalie help making a claim. He has strong numbers with the Grand Rapids Griffins, posting a shutout, a .920 save percentage, and 3-2-2 record. An extended stay in the minors could help Nedeljkovic regain confidence long-term.
Regarding Caamano, the 24-year-old has yet to play this season and was just activated from season-opening injured reserve. A 2016 fifth-round pick, Caamano had just 14 points in 47 AHL games last season with the Texas Stars. He was a taxi squad fixture for Dallas during the shortened 2020-21 season, recording an assist in 24 games in the NHL.