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In the System: Nedeljkovic Leads Niagara to OHL Finals

by Colleen Hamilton / Carolina Hurricanes

In this two-part series, we take a look at the performance of some of the Hurricanes' top prospects in the 2015-16 season. Click here to read part one.

Haydn Fleury (2014, first round)

Haydn Fleury served as alternate captain of the Red Deer Rebels for the third consecutive season. In 56 games, Fleury put up 41 points (12g, 29a) and 9 points (4g, 5a) in the Western Hockey League playoffs. Fleury and the Rebels made it to the WHL Eastern Conference Championship, but fell to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The 6-foot-3 defenseman represented Canada at the World Juniors Championship for the first time and tallied one assist in the tournament.

For the first time since 1974, Red Deer will host the 2016 Memorial Cup from May 19-29. Fleury and the Rebels will face off against the champions of the three Canadian Hockey Leagues – Team WHL, Team OHL, Team QMJHL.

"He’s really, really come on. He was excellent at the World Junior Championship for Canada. They were very pleased with him there. The things that he’s needed to work on in his game he’s done. His maturity as a person has improved," said head coach Bill Peters at his end-of-season press conference. "He’s another 6-foot-3, 200-plus D-man who can skate. He’s going to fit in to how we play. I’m very, very impressed by the progress he’s made from the time we drafted him to now."

Fleury turns 20-years-old in July and will begin his professional career. 

Alex Nedeljkovic (2014, second round)

Alex Nedeljkovic posted a 2.72 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in 30 regular season games with the Niagara IceDogs. Prior to being traded to Niagara, Nedeljkovic played in 19 games with the Flint Firebirds, earning a .907 save percentage and a 3.21 goals against average.

Nedeljkovic helped lead the IceDogs to the OHL Eastern Conference Championship, claiming Niagara's second Bobby Orr Trophy. Nedeljkovic and the IceDogs swept the Barrie Colts 4-0 in the series, adding to their 10-game win streak. In the final game of the series, Nedeljkovic earned first star honors after blocking 27 of 29 shots he faced.

Niagara advanced to the OHL Championship Series to face the London Knights, a rematch of the 2012 OHL Finals. The IceDogs find themselves trailing the Knights 0-3 in the best-of-seven series after an overtime loss on Monday night. Nedeljkovic is 12-3-1 in OHL playoff games this season, with a .899 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average. The 20-year-old netminder was nominated for the OHL goaltender of the year award.

Nedeljkovic had an impressive World Juniors performance, leading Team USA to the bronze medal game. He finished the tournament with a 1.66 goals against average and a .943 save percentage (second best in the tournament and third best among American goaltenders in World Juniors history).

Roland McKeown (via LAK, Andrej Sekera trade)

In his fourth season with the Kingston Frontenacs, Roland McKeown tallied seven goals and a career-high 35 assists. The Frontenacs' captain added 12 points (3g, 9a) in nine playoff games.

In an interview with Sportsnet, McKeown said that he set two goals for himself at the beginning of the season – to win in Kingston and to play in the World Juniors Championship.

Kingston found themselves on top of the the Eastern Conference standings after the regular season and set to play the Oshawa Generals in the first round of the OHL playoffs. McKeown led the Frontenacs to their first playoff series victory since 1998, winning the series 4-1. Kingston then fell to the Niagara IceDogs in the conference semifinals.

McKeown achieved his goal of making Canada’s roster for the World Juniors Championship and finished the tournament with a plus-4 rating.

The 20-year-old was named a finalist for several OHL Awards, including the Max Kaminsky Trophy (best defenseman of the year) and the Red Tilson Trophy (most outstanding player of the year). Award winners will be announced on June 7.

Warren Foegele (2014, third round)

Warren Foegele played five games at the University of New Hampshire before competing in 53 games with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. He notched 48 points (13g, 35a) and finished with a plus-32 rating.

The 20-year-old was tied for third in assists for the Frontenacs with Hurricanes prospect Roland McKeown. Foegele tallied 10 points (8g, 2a) in nine OHL playoff games as Kingston advanced to the second round for the first time in 18 years.

Clark Bishop (2014, fifth round)

Clark Bishop scored a career-high 39 points (16g, 23a) in his fourth season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In three playoff games, the 6-foot center added one goal and two assists.

Bishop served as the Screaming Eagles' captain for the second consecutive season. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Hurricanes on April 4.

Colleen Hamilton
COLLEEN HAMILTON is the Marketing Coordinator for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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