Filip Zadina - Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Born: 11/27/99 - Pardubice, Czech Rep.
Height/Weight: 6’1” , 192 lbs
2017-18 Stats: 57 GP, 44 G, 38 A
Projection: Top-three pick/top-tier offensive weapon
Filip Zadina’s rookie season with the Halifax Mooseheads (a club known for producing elite and talented forwards) in 207-18 has firmly solidified the young Czech’s position as one of the top offensive prospects in the 2018 NHL Draft. Aside from the unanimous choice of Rasmus Dahlin at number one overall, Zadina has seen his name penned in either the second or third overall slot alongside Andrei Svechnikov of the OHL’s Barrie Colts.
Despite most mock drafts seeming to favor the more complete Svechnikov over Zadina as the draft fast approaches, every NHL team would be more than happy to land a dynamic sniper with the skill-set that Zadina possess.
And, believe it or not, there’s at least one team who may have enough interest in Zadina to try and trade up for him - the Detroit Red Wings.
According to Mlive and a “league source”, the Wings may try and kick the old proverbial tires on draft day to put themselves in a position to select the talented young forward:
The Detroit Red Wings have the sixth pick in the June 22 draft, their highest selection since 1990.
But it might not be high enough to suit them. A couple of the players they covet, right wing Filip Zadina and defenseman Evan Bouchard, might be off the board.
That’s why the Red Wings are trying to move up the draft, to as high as No. 3, a league source said.
Now, whether Ken Holland and company have any actual genuine interest in moving up to select Zadina is merely rumor and speculation at this point, not to mention that the Montreal Canadiens currently own the the third overall pick and wouldn’t seem likely to help out one of their oldest rivals. However, what it is currently true is that this kid can play and will undoubtedly be a welcomed addition to whichever team calls his name on draft night.
As I mentioned earlier, his impressive debut season in Halifax (57 GP, 44 G, 38 A) was good enough to lead all other QMJHL rookies in goals, assists, and points. What impressed scouts most, aside from his point total, was how seamlessly he was able to transition his game from the larger international rinks to the smaller ice surfaces in North America - a fact that will not go unnoticed.
He also tallied seven goals and one assist in seven games played for the Czech Republic during the World Junior Championship this past January in Buffalo. The Czechs finished fourth in the tournament but his eight points ranked him seventh among all skaters in the competition.
Zadina uses his speed, puck skills, and creative hands to dazzle and produce in the offensive zone while simultaneously being able to make tight cross-ice passes to his teammates to set up quality scoring chances. Described as a pass-first player, he’s always aware of where his line-mates are on the ice, but still isn’t afraid to unload his accurate and powerful shot.
His skill isn’t limited to just the offensive side. Zadina plays a well rounded two-way game in all three zones of the ice. He’s known for reading defensive schemes very well as well as having a knack for being able to back-check/steal the puck from opposing players - all qualities that are highly appreciated by coaches.
Whether or not Zadina will be able to make the immediate leap to the NHL next fall remains to be seen. Physically, he’s just a few pounds shy of the average NHL player but still may be able to hold his own already at the professional level. The QMJHL is known for being a fast paced/high scoring league and he may have to adapt and develop his game to have the same level of offensive production against NHL-caliber defensemen. Regardless, Zadina has the skills and hockey IQ to succeed at the NHL level.