Nikita Zadorov
Nikita Zadorov
23-Year-Old DefensemanD
Colorado Avalanche
2018 Fantasy Outlook
In his first nearly full NHL campaign, Zadorov proved to be everything the Avalanche could hope for and more as an enforcer along the blue line. Not only did he deliver 278 hits to the opposition that resulted in 103 PIM, but he got in front of 106 opposing shots and pumped out 20 points despite rarely seeing time on the power play. Zadorov underwent shoulder surgery this offseason that could cost him the 2018-19 training camp, but there's no indication that he's expected to skip regular season action because of it. Assuming that's the case, there's no reason to dampen the 23-year-old blueliner's prospects heading into the 2018-19 season. Read Past Outlooks
Likely ready for Opener
DColorado Avalanche
October 4, 2018
Zadorov (undisclosed) returned to practice Tuesday after missing Saturday's game against Minnesota for precautionary reasons, The Denver Post reports.
Zadorov's return to practice indicates that he should be ready for Opening Night against the Wild on Thursday, barring a last-minute setback. He managed to rack up 20 points -- seven goals and 13 assists -- despite seeing very little time on the man advantage last season. With Tyson Barrie, Erik Johnson and Samuel Girard holding over from last year's roster, it's unlikely that will change, limiting Zadorov's upside in 2018-19 from an offensive perspective.
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Nikita Zadorov NHL Stats
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Nikita Zadorov 2018–19 NHL Game Log
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2018–19 Depth Chart Status
#3 Left Defenseman
COL LD PP Depth Chart
2018–19 Time On Ice Stats
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Power Play
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Zadorov offers almost nothing offensively, having failed to light the lamp since the 2014-15 campaign. Where his slim value resides is in PIM, as the 22-year-old Russian racked up 73 minutes in the sin bin despite suiting up for just 56 contests last season. The restricted free agent has also threatened to bolt to the WHL unless Colorado offers a contract that’s to his liking. That said, finding a replacement option with more offensive upside won't be difficult should the Avalanche refuse to cave to Zadorov’s demands.
With the departure of Nick Holden to the Rangers, Zadorov has an opportunity before him to stake a claim within the Avs' top four. The blueliner spent a majority of last season with AHL San Antonio, and in 22 games with Colorado, he accumulated just two assists and 12 PIM. The sample size is small, but with Buffalo the year before, the 2013 first-round pick was able to reach 15 points and 51 minutes in the penalty box. At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, and still a developing offensive asset, the 21-year-old Zadorov will first have to prove he belongs in the NHL before he’s considered an option outside of keeper leagues and deep formats.
Part of the draft day trade that sent Ryan O’Reilly to the Sabres, the 20-year-old Zadorov should fit in just fine on a burgeoning Colorado blue line. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Zadorov offers ideal size from the blue line, and showed flashes of offensive upside on the dreadful Sabres last season, recording three goals and 15 points in 60 games. The blueliner supplemented his scoring by dishing out 134 hits and logging 17:42 of ice time, figures that are only expected to grow as he approaches his prime years. While Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson are the power-play quarterbacks in Colorado, Zadorov should be able to land a spot on the second man-advantage unit and create offense alongside some very crafty forwards. Zadorov may be viewed a big-bodied shutdown type, but he has a booming shot and could make a run at 20 points in 2015-16. That should be enough for him to make an impact in deeper formats this season, and he's an even more attractive entity in multi-year keeper leagues.
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.
More Fantasy News
Status for Opening Night unclear
DColorado Avalanche
October 1, 2018
Zadorov (undisclosed) missed his team's preseason finale Sunday and was seen coming out of the X-ray room Friday, Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports. It's unclear if he'll be ready for Thursday's season opener against Minnesota.
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Returns to practice
DColorado Avalanche
September 20, 2018
Zadorov (shoulder) was a full participant in practice Thursday.
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Could miss training camp
DColorado Avalanche
July 7, 2018
Zadorov is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, The Denver Post reports, adding that the defenseman is in danger of missing training camp.
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Opens scoring in Thursday's loss
DColorado Avalanche
April 12, 2018
Zadorov scored the Avalanche's opening goal in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Predators in Game 1.
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Nets sixth goal
DColorado Avalanche
March 4, 2018
Zadorov scored a goal and posted a plus-2 rating in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Predators on Sunday.
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