There may be nothing more thrilling in hockey than a goalie firing a puck down the ice into a yawning cage. Alex Nedeljkovic can now say he’s accomplished the feat twice, etching his name in the record books along the way.
On Friday, Nedeljikovic became the first netminder to record two career goals in AHL history after he sealed a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-2 win over the Providence Bruins with an empty-netter late in the third period.
Nedeljikovic tallied his first goal as a member of the Charlotte Checkers in 2018, scoring against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
For context, only one NHL goaltender, Ron Hextall (1987, 1989), has scored two goals during their career. Martin Brodeur has three goals on his stat sheet (1997, 1999, 2000), but only one came off the stick of the Hall of Famer.
Formerly a second-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2014 NHL Draft, Nedeljikovic made the All-Rookie team in 2020-2021, going 23-15-5 with a 1.90 GAA in 23 starts with the Hurricanes. However, before the 2021-2022 campaign, the Hurricanes traded him to the Detroit Red Wings, where his play declined. After going 25-31-11 with a 3.35 GAA over two seasons, Nedeljikovic fell out of favor in Detroit, ultimately agreeing to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins ahead of the 2023-2024 season.
The 27-year-old was 1-1-0 (3.01 GAA) for the Penguins this year before suffering a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars in October. Nedelijikovic was with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on loan from the Penguins for conditioning in preparation for a return to the big club.