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Filip Zadina, who wanted to fill the CH net after the draft, placed in the ballot

At the time of the 2018 draft, it was clear that the Habs were mainly hesitating between two third-rounders, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Filip Zadina. At the time, Brady Tkachuk and Quinn Hughes didn’t seem to be real considerations, and if they were mentioned, it was only by a handful of experts and not by general consensus.

In the end, the CH took Kotkaniemi and Zadina had to wait until the sixth spot before being selected. Tkachuk and Barrett Hayton were selected between KK and him, who eventually became a member of the Red Wings.

But after five years, Zadina’s career still hadn’t really taken off, and the Red Wings were getting tired of him. And now, he’s been placed on the shortlist.

Let’s just say that today, the fact that he said after the draft that he intended to fill the Canadiens’ and Senators’ nets because they ignored him looks a little worse.

It’s a bit special, considering we’re talking about a guy making less than $2M a year ($1.825M, to be precise), and that’s for the next two seasons. At 23 years of age, it’s still a little early to throw in the towel on him, but obviously, people in Detroit don’t seem to think so.

Is it because they hope (rightly or wrongly) that he’ll go unclaimed and play in the AHL? Possibly.

In 190 NHL games, Zadina scored 28 goals and 68 points, a far cry from the production the Wings were hoping for when they drafted him. He’s had his moments in the AHL, but at 23, it’s time for him to start producing in the NHL.

That said, in my opinion, he’s very likely to be called upon by several teams. After all, he’s still young, and the fact that he was drafted so high buys him time with NHL management.

In short, he’ll be one to watch, but it’s a real surprise to see the Red Wings put him in the running. I can’t wait to see if he’s a member of a new organization tomorrow, which I expect he will be.


Realistically, I wouldn’t hate to see the CH (fifth in the pecking order all summer long) take a chance on Zadina. The problem is that there are already a ton of forwards in town, to the point where a guy like Rafaël Harvey-Pinard could be snapped up simply because he doesn’t have to go through the ballot.

If the CH can trade forwards over the summer, Zadina is a good idea, but if they can’t, it’s no more serious than that.

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