Flames re-sign Nikita Zadorov to two-year contract ($3.75 million AAV)
Photo credit:David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
The Calgary Flames are bringing back a big piece of their defensive group. Literally. Big-bodied blueliner Nikita Zadorov has signed a two-year deal to stay a Flame, with a cap hit of $3.75 million. (This comes after the expiration of his previous one-year deal with an identical cap hit.)
Originally acquired from Chicago last summer for a third-round selection in the 2022 NHL Draft – the pick the Flames received from Toronto for David Rittich – Zadorov played the 2021-22 season on the third pairing, playing almost exclusively with Erik Gudbranson. He was a perfectly acceptable third-pairing defender, taking tough minutes and generally keeping the opposition to the outside.
The 27-year-old product of Moscow, Russia had a career-high 22 points in 74 games last season. He’s not a massive offensive presence, but he chips in every now and then.
Zadorov becomes the eighth defender that the Flames have signed to a one-way deal for 2022-23, joining Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Juuso Valimaki, Connor Mackey, Nicolas Meloche and Dennis Gilbert. And restricted free agent Oliver Kylington will also be signed to a one-way deal before the start of the season. In other words: there will be competition in training camp and some (hopefully tough) decisions for Flames brass to make when it comes to the opening roster.
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