The Detroit Red Wings completed a minor trade today, sending defenceman Richard Nedomlel to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for future considerations.
If you haven’t heard of Nedomlel before, it would be hard to blame you. The Czech rearguard was drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth-round of the 2011 Entry Draft (175th) overall, and hasn’t made any significant leaps in his development.
Nedomlel, described as a defensive defenceman who comes in at a massive 6’4, 234lbs, came over to North America from the Slavia Praha organization as a teenager, joining the Swift Current Broncos in his draft year. He spent two extra years with the team before making his jump to the professional ranks.
To date, Nedomlel has not been able to make the Red Wings and has struggled to even hold a spot on the Grand Rapids Griffins. So far, 131 of his 136 regular season and playoff games in the professional ranks have come with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, and he’s yet to pick up his first AHL point. During his ECHL tenure, he’s picked up 11 goals and 25 assists, to go with 230 penalty minutes.
Two of his five AHL apperances are recent; Nedomlel laced the skates up for the Griffins on January 8th and 9th. In the former game, he picked up 20 penalty minutes as a result of fighting Adam Payerl and Cody Bass before getting ejected for being in multiple fights. He was a +1 in the two games and took no shots on goal.
So, with all of that considered, what’s the purpose behind this trade? For St. Louis, it gives them an additional defenceman to paly on the Chicago Wolves. St. Louis called up Chris Butler five days ago and have yet to replace him, and in the meantime, have a 3-in-3 weekend ahead of them that starts tonight. For stretches weekends like that, you want as much flexibility as possible; the Wolves can then decide whether or not to send him to the Alaska Aces afterward.
As for the Red Wings, this move may simply be one to bring the contract total down. Nedomlel is playing through his Entry-Level Contract at the moment, so trading him without taking in a contract in return brings the Wings down to 46 signed players, allowing for just a little bit more flexibility if Ken Holland decides to pursue multiple players as Detroit inches towards the trade deadline. Nedomlel’s contract expires at the end of this year, should St. Louis decide to not tender a qualifying offer.