21-Year-Old Defenseman – Colorado Avalanche
Nikita Zadorov Contract Information:
Signed three-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres in September 2013. Traded to the Avalanche in June 2015.
Zadorov (concussion) will return to action Tuesday against the Predators, Terry Frei of The Denver Post reports.
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Nikita Zadorov: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
A punishing hitter with a fearsome slap shot, Zadorov is the future physical anchor of the Sabres’ blue line. He finished the season in the OHL after a seven-game stint with the Sabres the previous season, and though there is no denying the Russian teenager has the talent to become a top NHL defenseman one day, he still has a long way to go. The 19-year-old could win a starting job with the Sabres for the 2014-15 season, but since he’s ineligible for AHL play, he could also return to juniors for his overage season.
Zadorov was the second of two defensemen selected by the Sabres in the first round of June’s NHL Draft. The 6’5”, 221 pound Russian is a physical force on the blue line and is coming off a season in which he helped the London Knights to an OHL Championship. Zadorov is more of a project than the Sabres’ other first-rounder, Rasmus Ristolainen, and is likely two or three seasons away from competing for a spot with the big club. His long-term potential is that of a physical, shut-down defender, but the current season will likely see a return to the OHL to continue his development.