Nikita Zadorov
Nikita Zadorov
24-Year-Old DefensemanD
Colorado Avalanche
Injury Lower Body
Est. Return 9/21/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Clearly, the Avalanche aren't ready to give up on the Zadorov experiment, as the 6-foot-5, 230-pound defenseman signed a one-year, $3.2 million contract extension in July. The Russian has averaged 3.16 hits per game since his trade from Buffalo in the 2015 offseason, and he's recorded more blocked shots (334) than games played (292) between six years of service time in the NHL. Considering the rugged skater has compiled just 62 career points, Zadorov doesn't come with much fanfare in the fantasy realm, but he should benefit from the continuity of staying on board with Colorado for at least one more campaign. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $3.2 million contract with the Avalanche in July of 2019.
Dealing with lower-body issue
DColorado Avalanche
Lower Body
September 16, 2019
Zadorov sustained a lower-body injury that coach Jared Bednar classified as a "tweak," Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic reports.
Zadorov saw his ice time dip to 17:12 per game last season (compared to 19:28 in 2017-18) and could be in line for a further reduced role with both Cale Makar and Bowen Byram eager for a spot on the 23-man roster. Even if Zadorov avoids time in the press box as a healthy scratch, his ceiling is probably still right around the 20-point mark, which makes him a mid-range fantasy option at best. Considering the Russian blueliner missed practice Monday, it seems unlikely he will suit up for Tuesday's preseason matchup with Tampa Bay.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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.
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
Inks deal with Colorado
DColorado Avalanche
July 5, 2019
Zadorov signed a one-year, $3.2 million contract with the Avalanche on Friday, Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic reports.
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Handed qualifying offer
DColorado Avalanche
June 25, 2019
Colorado has sent Zadorov a qualifying offer, Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports.
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Bull in a china shop
DColorado Avalanche
April 30, 2019
Zadorov racked up 11 hits and two blocked shots in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Sharks in Game 3.
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Sets physical tone
DColorado Avalanche
April 11, 2019
Zadorov racked up six hits, three blocked shots and two PIM in Thursday's 4-0 loss to the Flames in Game 1 of their first-round series.
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Breaks slump with assist
DColorado Avalanche
March 27, 2019
Zadorov posted an assist and two shots in Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Golden Knights.
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