Core Series: Will Red Wings’ Filip Zadina Pan Out?

Continuing our “core series,” we take a look at last year’s Detroit Red Wings rookie Filip Zadina.

He’s back on the ice.

Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina participated in an optional skate ahead of Friday’s 2-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

It’s an encouraging sign for the team who drafted him 6th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. It was a nice get at the time for the Red Wings, who fell in the draft lottery just like Zadina did in the real draft.

A team needing defense, couldn’t pass up the scoring machine who tallied 44 goals in 57 games for the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads in 2017-18.

And now here we are.

The professional game has been an adjustment for the 20-year-old forward, scoring only one goal in nine games with the Red Wings during his rookie season, but he was turning the corner before an unfortunate lower-body injury that has sidelined him since the Feb. 1 loss to the New York Rangers.

Zadina was starting to showcase offensive skills in his basically rookie NHL season, scoring eight goals and adding seven assists in 28 games.

These aren’t superstar numbers by any means, but compare him with last year’s first overall pick Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils, and it’ll put his improvements in perspective.

In 58 games this season, Hughes has seven goals and 14 assists.

Not bad, Zadina, not bad.

Zadina is signed through the 2021-2022 season at a measly $894K per season. OK, stopping quickly to acknowledge that measly and $894K were used in the same sentence and that made me a little sad.

It’s true, even in hockey salaries, though. Zadina is very affordable and will be part of this roster until at least that 2021-22 season.

Will he make it past that? Nobody knows. Do I think he is on the roster past that? Yes.

He’s showing his offensive touch, has a calm confidence to him and is beginning to come into his own as a professional hockey player.

Let’s remember this when evaluating Zadina.

He still can’t legally have a beer. Give him time and watch out.

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