Detroit Red Wings give Filip Zadina vote of confidence with new deal

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Hopefully, a new deal can serve as a fresh start for Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina.

The Detroit Red Wings used the no. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Level Draft on the 22-year-old forward but haven’t gotten the return they expected on their investment. If you recall, Zadina had been widely considered a top three draft pick at the time, likely to land in Montreal following the consensus top choice. Rasmus Dahlin headed to Buffalo, followed by Andrei Svechnikov, finding his way to Carolina.

That wouldn’t prove to be the case. Picks one and two went as ‘planned,’ but rather than selecting the sharpshooter who dominated junior in Halifax, the Habs opted for a more well-rounded center in Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

With the fourth pick, Ottawa selected Brady Tkachuk, and with all signs pointing towards Zadina becoming a Coyote, Arizona selected Barrett Hayton.

That left the defense-needy Detroit Red Wings in a peculiar position. With Quinn Hughes available and at their fingertips, Ken Holland and company selected Zadina with the no. 6 overall pick. Zadina then said he would make Montreal pay for passing on him by ‘filling their net.’ This has yet to happen, but there is still time.

As exciting as it would be today to think of a Red Wings blueline manned by Moritz Seider and Quinn Hughes, I can’t say that I disagreed with Holland’s choice at the time.

There is no guarantee that Detroit would have chosen Hughes over Evan Bouchard or Adam Boqvist. But looking back, Hughes would have vastly sped up Detroit’s rebuild.

The Detroit Red Wings need Filip Zadina to blossom following his new deal.

Sometimes we need to stop and take a step back to recognize that Zadina is just 22 years old. We live in such a fast-paced world where we want immediate results, but history has shown that isn’t always the case with NHL prospects.

Zadina recently signed a three-year deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $1.825 million per season. Steve Yzerman, historically is known to drive a hard bargain in contract negotiations, and I feel that this new deal with Zadina has the makings of becoming a very team-friendly agreement if Zadina finds a way to get over the hump on the ice.

Yzerman made a conscious effort to improve Detroit’s supporting cast via free agency this offseason. Although the rebuild is far from over, with the additions of Andrew Copp, David Perron, and Ben Chiarot, Yzerman has this thing off the ground floor and starting to ascend.

Last season, Zadina posted a career-highs across the board, scoring ten goals, adding 14 assists totaling 24 points. He also skated to a -24 rating and a Corsi For Percentage of 48.1% while averaging 14:11 of ice time per game.

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I expect Zadina to begin the 2022-23 season on Detroit’s third line, opposite Dominik Kubalik, centered by Pius Suter.