Swift Current Broncos defenceman Richard Nedomlel is taking the next step towards his NHL dream.
Nedomlel signed a three-year entry level deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
“It's an exciting moment,” Nedomlel said. “That's what we play hockey for is those moments. That's why I came here to Swift Current three years ago. I'm really happy.”
The Red Wings picked Nedomlel in the 6th round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 175th overall. According to capgeek.com the two-way contract calls for an annual cap hit of $611,667 if he plays in the NHL and an annual AHL salary of $60,000. He will also reportedly earn $160,000 in bonuses over the length of his deal.
The Prague, Czech Republic native joined the Broncos in the 2010-11 season as a 17-year-old and played 3 seasons with Swift Current. He scored 84 points over 210 WHL regular season games, while contributing a physical presence on the blue line. He became one of the most feared hitters in the league and developed a more well-rounded game as his junior career progressed.
The 6'4, 227lbs defenceman doesn't believe he would have had these opportunities if he remained in the Czech Republic.
“100% sure if I stayed back home I wouldn't even be close to be signed or even to be drafted,” Nedomlel noted. “I'm really happy I made the decision. I want to thank (Broncos Coach and GM) Mark Lamb for letting me play here and show how good I can be.”
The Broncos could tell right away that Nedomlel had a lot of raw talent.
“He was big, he could skate, he could really body check,” Lamb said. “He had a great attitude that he wanted to be here. Those were all positives. He just developed. He was very coach-able, he bought in to what we were trying to sell and he turned into a leader here.”
Nedomlel even wore a letter as an alternate captain for the Broncos during his 19-year-old season. Now he will have to take his game to the next level to make a jump to the professional level.
Red Wings Director of Player Development Jiří Fischer kept tabs on Nedomlel during the season and talked to Swift Current Online about him.
“The (AHL) and the NHL are getting so fast these days,” Fischer said. “For him to really get his feet moving, get the extra gear that's going to be crucial... Anybody that gets a letter it's obviously a huge honour. Not many Europeans get to wear a letter especially in the Western Hockey League. Richard I think it's part of his bubbly personality but also the way he sticks up for his teammates.”
Nedomlel started his WHL career as more of a stay-at-home physical defenceman. His game evolved to include top power play minutes in both his second and third years in the league. His shot become a featured part of one of the top power plays in the league.
Nedomlel also really thrived on the penalty kill during his 19-year-old season. He made big strides in shot blocking and helped turn Swift Current's PK from a weakness the year before into a strength.
This contract makes it extremely unlikely that Nedomlel will play for the Broncos during his overage season. He will report to Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League for now and will likely start next season with one of the teams in the Red Wings organization. Nedomlel does intend on coming to Swift Current for the start of training camp next season to work out and skate with the team.
He joins fellow 19-year-old defenceman Reece Scarlett (New Jersey Devils) as a 1993 born player from the Broncos who has signed an entry-level deal. Forward Adam Lowry recently signed an amateur tryout agreement with Winnipeg's AHL affiliate in St. John's, but is still negotiating his entry-level contract. If the Jets don't sign him in time Lowry could re-enter the NHL Entry Draft this June.
While New Jersey has yet to sign forward Graham Black, they only drafted him last year and don't have to get him locked up until before the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
“Our younger guys see those guys, see where they're going and see the leadership in them,” Lamb said. “That's how you have to build your organization. I love seeing those guys move on.”
The Broncos were eliminated by Calgary in the first round of the playoffs. They finished the regular season 6th in the Eastern Conference standings.
- Category: Local Sports
- Written by SCOL Sports