Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Roland McKeown, Alex Nedeljkovic, Martin Necas

Checking In with Brandon Stanley: Checkers’ player assessments — Roland McKeown, Alex Nedeljkovic, Martin Necas

Welcome back, Caniacs!    First off, I’d like to apologize for the delay in this series. I probably didn’t time it all that well to start with considering how it lined up with the summer events. I likely would have only been about three editions into the series by the time the draft and free agency came around, and that means a lot of my profiles would have been less meaningful with all the player movement we saw. In addition, I had a bit of a rough month or so with some big unforeseen changes in my life coming that I was dealing with. I didn’t even have my laptop for a couple weeks, so even if I had been mentally around at all I wouldn’t have been able to work on these anyway. So again, sorry for the prolonged absence, but we’ll pick it back up now and continue to look into how the seasons of the Canes prospects at the AHL level unfolded. This week we’ll look at Roland McKeown, Alex Nedeljkovic, and Martin Necas.    Roland McKeown – Defenseman (Acquired: Andrej Sekera deal with LA, February 2015; Drafted 2nd round, 50th overall by LA, 2014 Entry Draft) By the Numbers – 4 goals, 21 assists, 25 points in 70 games; 56 PIMs, +30 rating; 3 assists in 10 playoff games.  What Got Him Here? McKeown is very much cut from the Pesce mold, as a right-shot defenseman that takes care of his end of the ice first and foremost, but doesn’t add a ton of value in the offensive end. He is an excellent penalty killer...

Charting a path for Alex Nedeljkovic

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe considers Alex Nedeljkovic and his path to an NHL role given Canes crowded goalie situation.   Alex Nedeljkovic’s pedigree and history Drafted 37th in the 2014 NHL draft, Alex Nedeljkovic’s selection was an aggressive move to add a goalie prospect with a reasonably high probability of reaching the NHL. Nedeljkovic had already established himself as a solid goalie in Canadian juniors before being drafted and had established himself as a player who always found a higher gear under pressure. After being drafted, Nedeljkovic followed up with two strong years of development. He posted more solid regular season numbers and more significantly showed big game capability in world tournaments against the best his age group and then also in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs. By the end of the 2015-16 season, Nedeljkovic had accomplished all that he could in preparing for a jump to the American Hockey League. But the 2016-17 season proved to be the first real bump in the road for Nedeljkovic. He struggled early on in the AHL and in total had a tough first season as a professional. Nedeljkovic’s 2017-18 season was not spectacular but he did make step-wise progress and at least build a foundation at the AHL level. That set the stage for a big step up for the 2018-19 season. Whereas the 2017-18 season was largely about Nedeljkovic benefiting from playing behind a great team, the 2018-19 season was about Nedeljkovic being the primary driver of his team’s success. Especially in the second half of the 2018-19 Nedeljkovic was the Checkers’ best player many nights. He followed that...
Checking In: Alex Nedeljkovic Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

Checking In: Alex Nedeljkovic Charlotte Checkers 2016-17 season review

If you are catching up Alex Nedeljkovic is Charlotte Checkers’ 2016-17 player review #3 behind Haydn Fleury and Lucas Wallmark. Alex Nedeljkovic’s starting point coming out of the 2015-16 season Alex Nedeljkovic finished out his junior career with a season split between two different cities. He started out the year playing for the Flint Firebirds but was traded later in the season to the Niagara Icedogs for a possible shot at the OHL Championship. Nedeljkovic and the Icedogs would make it all the way to the OHL finals before being swept by the Mitch Marner-lead London Knights for the title. For the 2015-16 season as a whole, Nedeljkovic would finish 24-20-4, with a 2.91 GAA, and .907 save percentage. He also starred for Team USA in the 2016 World Junior Championships as he helped lead the team to a Bronze medal with a 1.66 GAA and .943 save percentage in seven games. Alex Nedeljkovic: 2016-17 with the Charlotte Checkers First half of 2016-17: Coming in with high expectations from his World Junior performance, Nedeljkovic did not have the start to the season that he or anyone else wanted. He was shelled in his first game as Checker, allowing four goals on 21 shots in just the first period alone. He would not see the ice after the first period, and the challenges did not end that night. Nedeljkovic would lose four out of his first five starts. He was had significant trouble corralling in long shots and allowed big rebound opportunities in front of the net because of it. He seemed to lack confidence in his ability and he...
Checking In: ‘First impressions’ on Roland McKeown, Lucas Wallmark and Alex Nedeljkovic

Checking In: ‘First impressions’ on Roland McKeown, Lucas Wallmark and Alex Nedeljkovic

This part 2 in a series of articles that offers first impressions of Hurricanes prospects who are new at the AHL level this season (or only had a cup of tea there at the end of another season). In case you missed it, part 1 profiled Valentin Zykov, Haydn Fleury and Andrew Poturalski. Part 2 today will feature Roland McKeown, Lucas Wallmark and Alex Nedeljkovic.   Roland McKeown Pre-arrival Roland McKeown is projected to be a potential top four defenseman at the NHL level once he fully develops. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings 50th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. McKeown has spent the previous three seasons with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL. In 2015-2016, his last season with the Frontenacs he posted 7 goals and a career high 35 assists. Starting role For most of the season McKeown has been playing on the second defensive pairing with second year Checker Jake Chelios. He has also played on the second unit of the power play and the penalty kill from time to time with Chelios. First Impressions McKeown, like Haydn Fleury, has yet to make a large impact with the Checkers. However, although not an outstanding playmaker so far, he also does not make many mistakes turning over the puck. He often favors making the simple play and does not try to force the puck up the ice. He also displays beautiful vision sometimes when he is hits an offensive player with a nice breakout pass leading to a Checkers two on one or three on two heading into the opposing team’s defensive zone. McKeown...