Petr Nedved was born on December 9, 1971, in Liberec, but his hockey development took place in Litvinov, where his father, Jaroslav, had played in the league for eight years. This town of only 30,000 inhabitants raised the most Czech players ever to go on and succeed in the NHL. Ivan Hlinka, Jiri Bubla, Petr Svoboda, Petr Klima, Vladimir Ruzicka, Robert Reichel, Jiri Slegr and others, including Petr Nedved, grew up there. Nedved, however, was the only one not to play for the local senior team.
The second overall pick of the Vancouver Canucks in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, Nedved played one season in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds after defecting from his Midget team at the Mac's Midget Tournament in Calgary.
Nedved went on to play three seasons with the Canucks and soon after got his Canadian citizenship and decided to play for Canada's national team in 1993-94 after a contract dispute with Vancouver prolonged in to the beginning of regular season.
At the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, he and Paul Kariya were the bedrock of the team and they won a silver medal, which was more than any of his Czech contemporaries could boast at the time.
He finished the season in St. Louis and missed the Stanley Cup finals in 1994 while Vancouver was moving on. He then headed for the New York Rangers. After one year with the Rangers he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Offensive hockey always suited Nedved because he could make use of his strong skating ability and his broad perspective of the game, talents very much suited to the Penguins. The greater freedom was good for Nedved. He spent a great season, 1995-96, with the Penguins, scoring 45 goals and collecting 99 points. In the 80th minute of overtime in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals game against Washington, Nedved settled the outcome of one of the longest games in NHL history.
As a foreigner, he wasn't allowed to play for the Czech Republic in any of the competitions organized by the IIHF. But this didn't apply to the World Cup of Hockey, which fell under the rule of the NHL.
Due to a contract dispute with Pittsburgh, Nedved didn't play in the NHL for over a year. He opened his 1997-98 season with Sparta Prague, where he also met his older brother, defenseman Jaroslav Nedved while also seeing action with the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder. His stay in the Czech Extraleague, however, was limited to four games. When the NHL started its season, the rules didn't allow him to play in other high-level competition.
In the 1993 playoffs, Vancouver encountered the Los Angeles Kings, who at the time were led by Wayne Gretzky. After being eliminated, Nedved approached his greatest idol to get a hockey stick and the media turned it into big news. At the time, however, the lanky center had no way of knowing that he would eventually be on the same team with number 99 during his last season. Once again the New York Rangers lent a helping hand.
Nedved returned to Manhattan at the end of November 1998. In spite of the long layoff, he did well, maybe because coach John Muckler placed him at the center of the team's offense, which suited Nedved the best. The next year, Muckler created a Czech lineup featuring Nedved, Jan Hlavac and Radek Dvorak, who had come from Florida.
One of the more durable players since his arrival in New York, Nedved has rarely missed any game action and has posted three consecutive 20-plus goal seasons and seven straight overall. However, during the 2003-04 season the Rangers struggled and Nedved was subsequently dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in the latter stages of the season. Upon his arrival with the Oilers, Nedved, went on to register 15 points (5-10-15) in 16 games before signing as a free-agent with the upstart Phoenix Coyotes in the summer of 2004.
Following a lock out year in 2004-05, Nedved struggled with the Coyotes in 2005-06 and was subsequently dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers just prior to the Olympic break. As a Flyer, he improved somewhat and recorded 14 points in 28 games.
The following season started poorly for Nedved and he was placed on waivers by the Flyers after only 21 games. The Edmonton Oilers signed the veteran Czech, hoping they could help rekindle the offence in his game. However, through 19 games with the Oilers he managed only 1 goal, 4 assists for 5 points.
In the summer of 2007, Nedved signed as a free agent with Sparta Praha in the Czech League.