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Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:39

Nedomlel wheels n’ deals n’ motors into Detroit’s system

Written by  Brad Brown
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Richard Nedomlel scored some big goals this season. There were regular-season markers that effectively snuffed out Calgary comebacks in a pair of January wins for the Swift Current Broncos.


There was the game winner against the first-place Edmonton Oil Kings in February and a game-tying goal against Regina on the second last night of the season that set up a Broncos’ shootout win and kept their hopes alive of finishing fifth in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.
But none were bigger than the goal he achieved after the Broncos’ season ended when he signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
The deal was first mentioned in a tweet March 31 by Broncos winger Levi Bews and reported again April 4 by Renaud Lavoie of RDS though the Red Wings had yet to make a formal announcement as of Sunday night.
“It feels great you know?” Nedomlel said Sunday, a day before leaving for Michigan where he was expected to report to the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. “Me and all of the team working with Detroit on the contract, we deserve it and now we can move on.”
Contract-tracking site CapGeek.com reports Nedomlel will be paid $600,000 in each of the next two seasons and $635,000 in 2015-16 if he plays in the NHL or $60,000 per year if he plays in Grand Rapids, along with a guaranteed signing bonus of $160,000 spread over three years.
He’s not necessarily known for his wheels, but Nedomlel expects to feel right at home in the Motor City organization.
The Red Wings lost veteran defencemen Niklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart after the 2011-12 season, and seven of their other defenders are up for free agency in the next two years.
Detroit is also known for showing exceptional patience in developing its defence prospects, so you could say opportunity isn’t just knocking politely — it’s crashing through the door.
“Detroit makes a great organization,” said Nedomlel. “They do a great job with all the young guys and … Jiri Fischer (the Red Wings’ director of player development), he’s doing great job there.
“I’m guessing once I get there you’re not going to be bad. They’re going to make sure you’re going to play at your best.”
Nedomlel was thrust into a leadership role with the Broncos this year as one of just three d-men with more than one year of WHL experience.
Down the stretch drive, he was often double-shifted on Swift Current’s second pairing alongside Dalton Reum or rookies Brycen Martin and Brett Lernout, his heavy-hitting style making him a crowd favourite.
After waiting what seemed like an eternity for his first goal of the season, Nedomlel finished the 2012-13 regular season with seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points to go along with 105 penalty minutes.
He had 46 points for the Broncos in 2011-12 and has missed only six games during his three seasons in Swift Current.
“He had a good year and he really developed,” said Broncos head coach and general manager Mark Lamb. “He’s a big six-foot-four defenceman that has a lot of room to grow yet in terms of skill and being a player.”
It’s rare, though not unheard of, for signed NHL draft picks to return to their junior clubs as 20-year-olds so the Broncos’ import and over-age situations for next season may already be a little clearer.
But as Lamb points out, there is no such thing as a guarantee when it comes to the business side of hockey.
“Just because he signed a contract, doesn’t mean he couldn’t be back,” said Lamb. “I don’t think it makes my job any easier or any tougher.”

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