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Calgary Flames trade Nikita Zadorov to Vancouver for 2026 third-rounder and 2024 fifth-rounder

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
2 months ago
We have a trade to announce.
The Calgary Flames have sent defenceman Nikita Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 2026 third-round pick and a 2024 fifth-round pick (whichever one they receive from Chicago for Anthony Beauvillier).
Zadorov, 28, played 177 games for the Flames over three seasons, scoring 19 goals and accumulating 49 points. He was originally acquired in a trade from Chicago back in July 2021 in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick. He was, to put it bluntly, an adventure on the ice – in ways both good and bad.
Want wild end-to-end rushes that befuddle the opposition, create chaos and generate scoring chances? That’s Zadorov! Want big hits? That’s Zadorov! Want oddly timed penalties and turnovers? Too bad, that’s also Zadorov!
Zadorov was a very good third pairing defender who could play second pairing minutes in a pinch, but he never really factored into special teams and so he also probably didn’t into the Flames’ plans at the term and/or cap hit he would have desired. He had reportedly requested a trade via his representative, Dan Milstein, earlier this month.
In the team’s release announcing the trade, Flames general manager Craig Conroy commented on the move:
“First, I’d like to thank Nikita for his commitment to the Flames and his professionalism through this process… Our hockey operations group works every day to find opportunities that make our team better today and for the future. This trade provides us with important draft assets, cap space and the opportunity for another one of our young prospects to prove himself in the NHL.”
This trade gives the Flames a bunch of flexibility. The cap implications will become more clear on Friday – the Flames won’t see the cap impacts of the deal until then based on when it was announced and filed with the league – but it opens up an NHL roster spot and likely gets the Flames below the daily cap number they need to start accumulating cap savings going forward. Barring other moves, and we’re expecting other moves, their daily cap number drops to $82.131 million (about $1.311 million below their accruable cap space limit).
They also gain a couple draft picks. The 2026 third-rounder is straight-forward: they get Vancouver’s pick. The 2024 fifth-rounder is a bit more complex: they get whatever pick Vancouver receives from Chicago in the Anthony Beauvillier trade. That pick will be the earliest fifth-round pick that Chicago owns – as of right now, they have the rights to Calgary’s fifth-rounder (from the Ryan Carpenter trade) and their own.
In other words: after being a bit hamstrung in terms of their ability to make moves due to their cap and injury situation, the Flames have a bit of breathing room. Let’s see what they do with it.

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