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Red Wings’ Nedeljkovic to Play for USA at World Championship

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Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red-Wings
Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic is expected to play for USA at the World Championships

Detroit Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic is expected to play for U.S. at the World Championships in Finland next month.

A source confirmed Nedeljkovic accepted USA’s invitation. Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth and Caleb Jones, plus Columbus Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski are also expected to play for the Americans. Detroit’s Moritz Seider has committed to play for Germany and Lucas Raymond will represent Sweden.

Detroit coach Jeff Blashill will serve as an assistant coach on the U.S squad. Former New York Rangers coach David Quinn will be the U.S. head coach.

Nedeljkovic Proved Value

Ohio native Nedeljkovic, 26, had an up-and-down first season in Detroit. He was strong early in the season, struggled for a period and looked sharper late. He finished with four shutouts and a .901 save percentage, respectable considering that he played for a team that gave the most dangerous scoring chances. Nedeljkovic played 59 games, establishing himself as a goalie who can carry a load for an NHL team.

“I think we all went through a tough stretch there post all-star break, including our goaltenders,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “I thought both Ned and (Thomas Greiss), give or take a game or two, the last month have done a good job. (They) kind of ended in good fashion. Ned had a number of real good quality starts. Hopefully that continues to give him real good confidence moving forward.”

The World Ice Hockey Championships will be in Helsinki and Tampere Finland from Friday, May 13, to  Sunday, May 29. The Americans have won a medal in four of the past eight World Championships. However, they haven’t won a World Championship since 1960. Then, the Olympic gold medalist was considered the World Champion.

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