- Detroit Signs Right Wing Alex Chiasson and Goaltender John Lethemon to One-Year Contracts
The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins under emergency conditions, Additionally, the Red Wings have signed right wing Alex Chiasson and goaltender John Lethemon to one-year contracts for the remainder of the 2022-23 season. Chiasson will report to Detroit while Lethemon will report to Grand Rapids.
Nedeljkovic, 27, has appeared in nine games with the Red Wings this season, holding a 2-4-2 record with a 4.09 goals-against average and a 0.880 save percentage. The 6-foot, 208-pound goaltender has also played in 19 games with the Griffins, posting a 9-7-2 record with a 2.89 goals-against average, a 0.909 save percentage and one shutout. Nedeljkovic was acquired by the Red Wings in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on July 22, 2021 and led all NHL rookie netminders in games played (59), shots against (1,796), saves (1,618), time on ice (3,230:48), shutouts (4) and assists (2) during the 2021-22 campaign. He finished third in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy and made the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2020-21 after showing a 15-5-3 record with a 1.90 goals-against average, a 0.932 save percentage and three shutouts in 23 appearances with the Hurricanes, in addition to logging a 4-5 record with a 2.17 goals-against average, a 0.930 save percentage and one shutout in nine postseason contests. Originally selected by Carolina in the second round (37th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Nedeljkovic has compiled a 39-35-15 record with a 2.98 goals-against average, a 0.906 save percentage and seven shutouts in 97 appearances over parts of six NHL seasons with the Hurricanes and Red Wings since 2016-17. Nedeljkovic also earned a Calder Cup championship with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers in 2019 after leading the AHL in wins (34) for the second-consecutive year and goals-against average (2.26) en route to claiming the Baz Bastien Memorial Award as the league’s top goaltender and a spot on the AHL First All-Star Team. He became the 13th goaltender in AHL history to score a goal when he accomplished the feat with the Checkers on March 10, 2018, and the 12th netminder in ECHL history to score a goal when he did so with the Florida Everblades on Dec. 30, 2016.
A native of Parma, Ohio, Nedeljkovic has several ties to the state of Michigan, notably as a teammate of Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin on the 2011-12 Belle Tire U16 team. Prior to turning professional, Nedeljkovic posted an 89-77-20 record with a 2.88 goals-against average, a 0.918 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 191 Ontario Hockey League games between the Plymouth Whalers, Flint Firebirds and Niagara IceDogs from 2012-16. He was named the OHL’s Goaltender of the Year in 2013-14 and earned back-to-back selections on the OHL Third All-Star Team the following two seasons. On the international stage, Nedeljkovic won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship after tallying a 4-2 record with a 1.66 goals-against average and a 0.943 save percentage. He also helped his country earn a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship after leading the tournament with a 1.84 goals-against average.
Chiasson, 32, was signed by the Griffins to a professional tryout on Nov. 26 and has recorded 20 points (9-11-20), a plus-six rating and 14 penalty minutes in 29 games. The 6-foot-4, 208-pound forward spent the entire 2021-22 campaign with the Vancouver Canucks, where he tallied 22 points (13-9-22), a plus-five rating and 24 penalty minutes in 67 contests. Originally selected by the Dallas Stars in the second round (38th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Chiasson has played in 631 career NHL games between the Stars, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers and Canucks since 2012-13, compiling 224 points (114-110-224) and 353 penalty minutes. He helped the Capitals win a Stanley Cup championship in 2018, registering two points (1-1-2) and four penalty minutes in 16 postseason matchups. Chiasson has also notched 60 points (23-37-60) and 66 penalty minutes in 95 AHL games with the Texas Stars and Griffins.
Prior to turning professional, Chiasson played three seasons at Boston University, serving as an alternate captain during his junior year. He tallied 99 points (36-63-99), a plus-17 rating and 186 penalty minutes in 108 games with the Terriers from 2009-12. Chiasson spent the 2008-09 season with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League, earning a spot on the league’s All-Rookie Team after totaling 50 points (17-33-50) and 101 penalty minutes in 56 appearances. Chiasson played his senior year of high school at the Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York, where he racked up 81 points (35-46-81) in 45 games during the 2007-08 season. The Montreal, Quebec native previously competed for the Seminaire St-Francois Blizzard from 2005-07, collecting 32 points (13-19-32) and 57 penalty minutes in 56 games, in addition to 24 points (5-19-24) in 20 postseason contests.
Lethemon, 26, has posted a 16-1-3 record with a 2.08 goals-against average, a 0.927 save percentage and a league-leading four shutouts in 24 appearances with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye this season. The 6-foot-3, 189-pound netminder was honored as the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Month for February after showing a perfect 6-0-0 record with a 0.67 goals-against average, a .976 save percentage and three shutouts. Lethemon split the 2021-22 season between the AHL’s Ontario Reign and the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits, holding a 2-0-0 mark with a 2.01 goals-against average and a 0.931 save percentage in two appearances with the Reign while building a 15-11-6 record with a 2.69 goals-against average, a 0.911 save percentage and a pair of shutouts in 32 games with the Swamp Rabbits. In all, Lethemon has accumulated a 44-17-14 record with a 2.53 goals-against average, a 0.913 save percentage and seven shutouts in 81 ECHL appearances between the Swamp Rabbits and Walleye.
A native of Northville, Michigan, Lethemon spent four seasons at Michigan State University prior to turning professional, compiling a 38-55-5 record with a 2.79 goals-against average, a 0.911 save percentage and nine shutouts in 101 contests from 2016-20. He earned a place on the Big Ten Conference’s Second All-Star Team as a senior after finishing 15-15-2 with a 2.13 goals-against average, a 0.935 save percentage and five shutouts in 33 games. Before joining the Spartans, Lethemon appeared in 46 games for the USHL’s Chicago Steel from 2014-16. Lethemon also played two seasons at Farmington High School from 2012-14, helping the program capture its first-ever MHSAA Division 3 state championship in 2014. He garnered First-Team All-State honors after posting a 1.99 goals-against average and a 0.938 save percentage in his senior year with Farmington.