Zadina, 20, has skated in five games for the Red Wings this season, tallying a pair of assists, which came in Detroit’s last two games (Nov. 30-Dec. 2), marking the first time in his NHL career he has posted points in back-to-back games. In all, Zadina has skated in 14 games for the Red Wings in the last two seasons (2018-20), tallying one goal and five assists in 13:55 average time on ice. Zadina has also appeared in 20 games with the Griffins this season, ranking among team leaders with seven goals (3rd), six assists (T7th), 13 points (3rd), four power-play goals (2nd) and 48 shots (T2nd). Prior to his initial recall to Detroit on Nov. 24, Zadina had authored one of his most productive stretches so far in the AHL, registering points in six-straight games from Nov. 8-22 (4-4-8). In 79 games with Grand Rapids over the last two seasons, the Pardubice, Czech Republic, native has logged 48 points (23-25-48) and 26 penalty minutes.
Originally drafted in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward spent the 2017-18 season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, totaling 82 points (44-38-82) in 57 games to place seventh overall in league scoring. He also led QMJHL rookies in scoring and earned a spot on the QMJHL First All-Star Team and All-Rookie Team, while winning the Mike Bossy Trophy as the league’s best professional prospect. Zadina also tied for the Halifax lead in playoff scoring by collecting 12 points (5-7-12) in nine games. Internationally, Zadina represented his country at the 2018 and 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships. At the 2018 tournament, Zadina led the Czechs with seven goals and eight points in seven games, earning a spot on the WJC All-Star Team. He previously won a gold medal with the Czech Republic at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament after posting a tournament-best seven points (5-2-7) in four games. Zadina received his first taste of professional action between 2015-17, picking up two points (1-1-2) over 27 games for HC Pardubice in the top Czech league.
With the long break this week, the Wings got an opportunity to send Zadina down to Grand Rapids for their game on Wednesday the 4th for a bit more experience. Zadina was held off the scoresheet in the Griffin’s 5-2 loss, putting up two shots on goal and going -2 in the outing.
WIth the Griffins playing tonight at home before heading out for a road trip, GM Steve Yzerman called Zadina back up in preparation for the big club’s Saturday evening tilt against the Penguins.
Zadina has four games remaining before the decision to keep him with the Red Wings or have him remain for the Griffins has contractual implications. He can play nine games with the NHL club this season and the team can elect to have his entry-level contract automatically extend for one year as a result of him not playing a 10th NHL game. The question there (as we brought up on this week’s WIIM Radio) is whether it’s better to extend the low-paying ELC by one year or better to get him to his next contract quicker before a potential explosion in production which would make that contract negotiation trickier.
Either way, I want to see him fill
pucks with nets nets with pucks.