New recruit Josh Windass posted a dream debut goal but the Owls were pegged back by Barnsley as Cauley Woodrow ensured honours were even at Oakwell.
The relegation-threatened Reds were good value for a share of the spoils too, belying their league position as they put Wednesday under pressure and coped admirably with the visitors’ threat.
Anything less than a point would have been harsh on the hosts as the Owls had chances on the counter but keeper Brad Collins was rarely troubled.
Neither side could truly stamp their authority on the contest in the early exchanges at a windy Oakwell, although the home side probably had the edge.
But that was until 16 minutes in when Wednesday burst into the lead. Connor Wickham was strong on the edge of the area and the ball was moved across to Windass, who buried emphatically past Collins.
Just as the Owls began to take control, though, Barnsley snatched an equaliser eight minutes later.
Cameron Dawson’s clearance on the angle was only as far as Woodrow and the Tykes’ leading scorer showed good composure to loft into the unguarded net from 25 yards.
Dawson gathered well from Mads Andersen as the rejuvenated hosts poured forward but the game soon reverted to type of a typically tight derby affair.
Jacob Brown flashed wide with half time approaching and Dawson made a big save to thwart the same player after the winger jinked past two challenges to craft a shot on goal.
Wednesday started the second half on the front foot and Fernando Forestieri had a snapshot blocked by Michael Sollbruer after Barry Bannan’s corner triggered a scramble in the box.
Forestieri then picked out Alessio Da Cruz loitering at the back post but the Dutchman’s placed effort fell the wrong side of the upright.
Barnsley grew back into the game and Elliot Simoues might have done better with a close range shot following a measured Jordan Williams cross from the right.
The Tykes continued to press in search of a winner but it was Wednesday that came closest to taking all three points when substitute Jacob Murphy raced clear on goal but stout defending by Clarke Oduor made sure both sides would take a share of the spoils.
Wednesday: Dawson, Iorfa, Lees, Börner, Palmer, Da Cruz, Bannan, Pelupessy (Lee 66), Windass, Forestieri (Murphy 70), Wickham (Nuhiu 80)