Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina promised to fill the nets of teams who passed on him in the draft with pucks, and he’s sticking by that bold prediction.
“I said that and I stand behind what I said,” Zadina said during practice Tuesday in Montreal. Meanwhile, head coach Jeff Blashill appreciates the young forward’s confidence, but doesn’t want him to take it too far.
“At the end of the day, I think that’s more of a long-term thing than a singular game,” Blashill said. “He was just stating in an 18-year-old, English-not-your-first-language way of saying I’m going to be a really good player and I’m going to do everything I can to make people that didn’t pick me pay. I hope he does that. But I think that’s way more of a long-term approach than anything else.
Filip Zadina has got lots of maturity to him. Playing on the road is a great test for a young guy to keep making the progress we want him to make.”
During his first regular season NHL action, Zadina has scored a goal to go with an assist with a minus-4 plus minus rating. He’s also registered 14 shots on goal. Many were surprised that Zadina, who was projected to go as high as third overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, fell to the Red Wings at number six. He’ll be sent back down to Grand Rapids after he completes nine games with the Red Wings in order to avoid triggering his entry-level deal.
Blashill also joked that he hoped Zadina would “stay off social media when you’re in the NHL, whether you’re a player, coach or manager.”
I think mental toughness and inner drive are the two biggest factors in individual success in anything in life, certainly in the NHL,” Blashill said. “He’s shown signs of that inner drive and he’s shown signs of that mental toughness. Those will be critical for him.”