The Grand Rapids Griffins signed Detroit Red Wings draft pick goaltender Jan Bednar to a contract that covers the rest of this season and next season. The Griffins assigned him immediately to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Players who sign their first pro contract with the Griffins can end up with the Red Wings. This season, Alex Chiasson signed a minor league contract with the Griffins. The Red Wings signed him recently.
UPDATE: The Griffins on Wednesday signed goaltender Jan Bednar to a two-year contract for the remainder of this season and the 2023-24 campaign. The Griffins subsequently assigned him to the @ToledoWalleye #GoGRG
— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) March 15, 2023
Luke Glendening originally signed with the Grand Rapid Griffins. The Red Wings then signed him after watching him play in the American Hockey League.
Czechia native Bednar was the Red Wings’ 107th pick in the 2020 NHL draft. He’s 6-foot-4 and he’s been playing for Acadie-Bathurst in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He has played for the Czechia National Junior Team.
Organization Needs Goalie Depth
The Red Wings and Griffins needed additional goalie depth. Jussi Olkinuora and the Red Wings mutually agreed that he could leave the Griffins to join Brynas in the Swedish Hockey League. He struggled with the Griffins, posting a 3.75 goals-against average and .868 save percentage.
Alex Nedeljkovic is the Griffins’ No. 1 goalie. However, Griffins backup Victor Brattstrom was injured recently and the team called up former Michigan State goalie John Lethemon.
Sebastian Cossa is the No. 1 goalie in Toledo, and now Bednar joins him there. Bednar played parts of three season in Czechia’s top professional league before joining the QMJHL. He was 7-19-0 in 28 games with a 3.72 goals-against average and .893 save percentage.
He was 1-2 playing for Czechia the 2021-22 World Junior Championships. In 2021-22, Bednar was named to the QMJHL Second All-Star Team. He ranked among the league leaders in a few categories, including GAA (2.72, 10th) and save percentage (0.912, fifth)