Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Examining potential trade destinations for Nikita Zadorov
3 months ago
ESPN NHL insider and analyst, Kevin Weekes reported on social media on Friday night that Calgary Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov has submitted a trade request.
There are a bunch of reasons as to why Zadorov may want out of Calgary. He’s playing on the Flames third pairing. There haven’t been any contact talks between him and the Flames. He’s voiced displeasure with some unspecified teammates. And the Flames aren’t going to win a Cup this year and he could be looking for a chance to win.
Zadorov will be a hot commodity. He is a very tantalizing player for contending teams. He’s a huge, physical, left shot defenceman. If you look at the latest Stanley Cup champions, one commonality is having a huge blueliners. Zadorov fits that mold perfectly. He is also a good skater and has some offensive upside.
A lot of these trade proposals will be money in money out because of how tight everyone is to the salary cap. So keep that in mind when we dive into some trade proposals.
There will be a small bidding war for his services. Let’s take a look at where Zadorov could possibly end up.
The Vancouver Canucks have got off to an incredible 10-2-1 start to the season and are looking to add to their lineup. One area that they’ve been looking to add is on the right side of their defense. Zadorov is exactly what they’re looking for.
Their top six defence currently looks like this:
Quinn Hughes – Filip Hronek
Carson Soucy – Tyler Myers
Ian Cole – Mark Friedman
They could use an upgrade on the right side. The Canucks are one Hronek injury away from having Myers and Friedman in their top four. They could use some depth.
The Canucks also have a great relationship with Zadorov’s agent, Dan Milstein. They’ve signed Andrei Kuzmenko and Ilya Mikheyev to contracts and have three other Milstein clients on their reserve list.
To Vancouver: Nikita Zadorov
To Calgary: Anthony Beauvillier, Jett Woo, 2024 Third-Round Pick, 2025 Second-Round Pick
Toronto Maple Leafs
Zadorov has been connected to the Leafs by his own agent and Chris Johnston of the Athletic.
The Leafs have struggled on the defensive side of the game this season. They’ve given up at least four goals in every one of their games at home this season. They are in desperate need of a shutdown defenceman with some size. I’m not sure I’d consider Zadorov a shutdown guy, but former Flames GM Brad Treliving might see it differently.
Their current group of Morgan Reilly, Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, John Klingberg, Jake McCabe, Simon Benoit and William Lagesson is clearly not good enough to win a cup with. They need help. Zadorov could be a piece to help get them closer to being a cup contender on the back end.
To Toronto: Nikita Zadorov
To Calgary: John Klingberg, 2024 First-Round Pick, 2024 Fifth-Round Pick
Panthers general manager Bill Zito always seems to be in the mix for players on the trade market. This should be no different with Zadorov.
Florida has a lot of defencemen on expiring deals. The only Panther defencemen signed beyond this season are Aaron Ekblad and Niko Mikkola. I wonder if a Zadorov extension could be part of a trade. Zadorov lives in Miami in the off-season which could make it more enticing for Zadorov to sign a long-term contract as part of a deal.
The Panthers have the cap space to bring in Zadorov’s $3.75 million cap hit for this season with Ekblad on LTIR.
It seems like a match made in heaven for the Panthers and Zadorov.
To Florida: Nikita Zadorov (he signs a four-year extension with the Panthers)
To Calgary: Josh Mahura, 2024 Fourth-Round Pick, 2025 Second-Round Pick
The Predators could be a sneaky team in the Zadorov sweepstakes. Barry Trotz showed a willingness to bring in veteran players to help change the culture in Nashville over the summer. He signed Ryan O’Reilly, Luke Schenn and Gustav Nyquist to lucrative free agent contracts.
The Preds have the cap space and assets the Flames would be looking for in a return for Zadorov. They have three picks in the second round, two in the third round, and three in the fourth round of the 2024 NHL draft.
I wonder if the Flames would try to get Fabbro has part of a Zadorov trade. The Preds have been rumoured to have shopped Fabbro’s services this summer but were unable to find a trade partner.
To Nashville: Nikita Zadorov
To Calgary: Dante Fabbro & 2024 Third-Round Pick
Where do you think Zadorov will end up? Let us know in the comments section!
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