Filip Zadina needs a breakout season in 2022-23

The Detroit Red Wings drafted forward Filip Zadina with the 6th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft in what many analysts, and fans, saw as a steal.

However, the vision that Red Wings fans had in their heads of Zadina making good on his promise to fill the nets of their opposition (specifically division rivals Montreal and Ottawa, who decided to pass on him in the Draft) has largely gone unfulfilled. In 160 career NHL games, Zadina has lit the lamp just 25 times while also racking up 36 assists. Certainly not the kind of numbers you'd expect to see from a forward taken within the top-10 of a Draft.

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Despite the lack of offensive production, Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has seen fit to keep Filip Zadina around in the Motor City, and the two sides have officially extended their relationship, inking Zadina to a three-year contract extension that carries an AAV of $1.8125 million.

Filip Zadina has a prime opportunity this season

The next part of the deal is up to Zadina. He'll certainly remember the feeling that he had under former coach Jeff Blashill this past January when he was designated a healthy scratch, a move that he admitted had him feeling “pissed”. He certainly has all of the tools to be a consistent goal scorer, as he demonstrated by lighting the lamp 44 times with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Meanwhile, with new head coach Derek Lalonde in town behind the bench, the potential exists for a turnaround that many players over the years have seen when a new voice and coaching philosophy enters the dressing room. You can also certainly bet that Zadina will want to do everything possible to make Yzerman not regret showing faith by signing him to a multi-year contract.

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Zadina and the Red Wings open Training Camp later this month and start the 2022-23 regular season just over a month from now.

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  1. He’s still #1 on my list of trade candidates if the Wings are in the playoff hunt.
    He has the most upside and could get a nice draft pick with a seasoned veteran.

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