Red Wings Fact or Fiction: Moving or Keeping Filip Zadina?

Jan 22, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Filip Zadina (11) and Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) react after a loss against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Filip Zadina (11) and Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) react after a loss against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Much has been written about Filip Zadina‘s struggles this year with the Detroit Red Wings and the fanbase has certainly been polarized about it. Hockey analysts have taken notice, too.

So what’s one more article gauging the temperature on Zadina? The results may actually surprise some.

Not only did we ask our readers, but our staff chimed in as well to resolve this question:

The Red Wings should move on from Filip Zadina and get what they can while there’s still value. 

What did Red Wings fans say via Twitter?

On our very un-scientific poll, Red Wings fans overwhelmingly called fiction at quite the high clip.

73% of those who answered were steadfast in the Red Wings holding onto Zadina and not dealing him away. Sometimes, especially based on tweets, it certainly feels very much the other way.

What about the staff?

Delaney Rimer – Fiction

This is a tough one. On one hand, you have a 22-year-old player with a ton of potential to be a star. On the other hand, you have a player who is not scoring the goals he was expected to but carries a good amount of trade value.

Given this, I would say that the Red Wings should only move on from Filip Zadina if the perfect option emerges, an option that Yzerman would not be able to refuse. I think that Zadina is not reaching his full potential as a goal scorer because he has been coached to have a more defensive game in addition to his offensive game.

Taking the time and energy away from his offense has proved to be an error in coaching since Zadina is unable to get the points he needs to be a star on this roster. So I would ultimately say fiction given the fact that we do not have any trade proposals on the table, but that answer would likely become a fact if an irresistible trade offer was proposed.

Chris Giles – Fact

Before the season started, I believed that Zadina had the most upside on the Detroit roster.  Drafted 6th overall and ranked as high as #3 before the draft, Zadina slipped a few spots and many people in the industry believed that Detroit made out like bandits with the selection.

A look at his pre-draft stats indicated that Zadina was a can’t miss sniper.  After turning 18, Zadina scored seven goals in the World Junior Championships.  He also scored 44 goals in 57 games for Halifax (QMJHL).  How can a player with those credentials miss?

Well, Zadina has a late November birthday which made him one of the oldest players in his draft year.  He was also playing in an offensively powerful and defensively poor QMJHL in Canada.  Maybe all of his pre-draft stats were inflated.

Zadina has played 131 games in the NHL and currently has 20 NHL goals.  He will probably get traded and be a regular 20 goal scorer on another team.  As it stands, the current player we see playing for the Red Wings may have reached his potential in the Motor City.

With numerous prospects pushing for spots on the roster in the next few years, Zadina is doing nothing more than taking up a roster spot, playing the 2nd unit of the power play, and getting frustrated in the process.  He may not be traded before the deadline, but I see this season as the last year we see Zadina in a Red Wings uniform.

Alex Faber – Fiction

Considering his current value, the Red Wings should not move off of Filip Zadina, It’s no secret the young forward has yet to break through to that next level, but he’s not been atrocious this year. However, Zadina is not like Anthony Mantha.

Mantha illustrated plenty of elite skill in the NHL during his time with the Red Wings – Zadina has yet to show anything more than flashes in the NHL. In all likelihood, teams won’t be offering Steve Yzerman the kings ransom that they considered for Mantha. For that reason, the Red Wings should take a risk and hold onto Zadina. – essentially, just hope for him to finally break through.

Me – Fiction

There are a lot of people saying the same things: Zadina needs to accept that he’s not going to be the big time goal scorer he envisioned as he slid down the board back in 2018. But he can be a terrific, two-way playmaking forward. And that’s how his development has been trending for over a year now.

I’ve written about this before but looking at his expected goals for this season, Zadina shows an ixG of 8.48 and having just five goals on the season. Sure, sometimes you have to make your own luck, but you have to figure at some point, he’s going to figure it out and maybe not being a consistent 20 goal guy, but at least hover between 15-20 per season.

Echoing Delaney, unless Yzerman absolutely gets a deal he can’t refuse, he won’t cost what he could have as his contract expires this season. With team control and what would likely be a very reasonable figure, next season seems the wisest time to really determine whether it’s time to move on.

More. Let's talk about that 3rd period against Toronto. light