2018 NHL draft prospect profile #3: Filip Zadina

GUELPH, ON - JANUARY 25: Filip Zadina #11 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects game at the Sleeman Centre on January 25, 2018 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Team Cherry defeated Team Orr 7-4. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
GUELPH, ON - JANUARY 25: Filip Zadina #11 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects game at the Sleeman Centre on January 25, 2018 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Team Cherry defeated Team Orr 7-4. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Filip Zadina was long touted as a likely top-three pick in the 2018 NHL draft, but his stock has fallen a bit. If the Vancouver Canucks are lucky, this scoring sensation could fall to them when they select seventh.

For a while, Halifax Mooseheads forward Filip Zadina was expected to be a top-three pick in the NHL draft, meaning the Vancouver Canucks had no hope of landing him once they were handed the seventh overall selection.

But just days before the draft, Zadina has seen his stock fall a bit, and it’s possible he doesn’t even land in the top-five. TSN’s Bob McKenzie mentioned that “five of 10 scouts surveyed by TSN ranked him outside their top five,” while Jesperi Kotkaniemi has made an immediate climb into the top-three discussion.

Now, we all know that Rasmus Dahlin will be picked first by the Buffalo Sabres, while Andrei Svechnikov is definitely going to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Montreal Canadiens will likely take a much-needed forward, and it’s possible they value Kotkaniemi or Tkachuk more than Zadina.

With the fifth choice, the Ottawa Senators could opt to take a blueliner — especially if they’re forced to trade Erik Karlsson. Then, the Detroit Red Wings pick — and they certainly need help on the blue line, which could mean taking Quinn Hughes or Adam Boqvist. Maybe another blueliner.

So if the cards fall into place, general manager Jim Benning may get his chance to draft Zadina. Here’s our profile on the talented scorer.

The stats rundown

Counting stats provided by EliteProspects

Height: 185 cm/6’1

Weight: 87 kg/192 lbs

Birthdate: Nov. 27,1999

Position: Left wing

Handedness: Left

Team (league): Halifax Moosheads (QMJHL)






#4 by Bob McKenzie

#3 by Craig Button

GP  G    A     P
57  44  38  82

The Canucks already own a pure goal-scorer in Brock Boeser, but having Zadina on the same line would be something of epic proportions. Imagine these two playing together with Elias Pettersson.

Even if Zadina’s stock has fallen a bit, it doesn’t take anything away from the type of player he is. Teams who are looking for the next great 30-40 goal man simply just need to look at Zadina. He has the slick hands, good size and can shoot from anywhere. These are the type of players that can turn a franchise’s fortunes around.

Another bonus: Zadina’s the type of player that could jump into the NHL right away and make an immediate impact. He’d be worthy of top-six minutes and could start on the power play.

Zadina has shined on the international stage, winning gold with Czech Republic at the 2016 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He had eight points in seven games at the 2018 World Hockey Championships, so the hockey world knows exactly the type of player Zadina is. He loves shining on the international stage, a further sign that Zadina relishes in big games.

Scouting reports

Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst:

"He has exceptional vision and hockey sense that makes every teammate a threat to score when he is on the ice. Strong on his skates, Zadina is extremely difficult to contain because he’s as elusive moving laterally as he is when jetting in a straight line, and even the most competent defenders struggle to maintain a tight gap. Give him too much room, however, and he’ll exploit it…Zadina is a fierce competitior who plays with controlled emotion, and he is not just a point producer — he likes to get in on the forecheck and position himself properly as opponents attempt their breakouts. These anticipation skills lend to his superior command of play development and makes him as dangerous on the penalty kill as he is in other situations."

Ryan Biech, Canucks Army:

"Zadina is a dazzling player with incredible skating and shooting abilities.The left-handed winger can single-handily create offence on his own and in a variety of ways. He has quick, active and agile skating that see his feet never stop moving. He has fantastic two-step quickness from a stopped position and also can create separation while already near top speed. His agility on his feet and long reach allow him to keep the puck on his stick easily, dangling in and out of coverage to find a seam to release his wrist shot. Zadina can do this at any speed, which makes him such an exciting offensive weapon."

Future Considerations:

"Zadina is a dangerous goal-scorer in the making…is a strong and balanced skater…makes plays with his feet and hands…is able to dangle with the puck through defenders in the tightest areas of the ice and create chances out of nothing…has an offensively creative mind and imagination, and isn’t shy to try whichever move comes to mind…sets his teammates up with smart passes…very good hockey sense…has an absolutely lethal shot, great release…gets himself into excellent position to get his shots off."

What we think

I’ve said a few times on here that the Canucks need to take a blueliner — since it’s a bigger organizational need. But if Zadina is somehow and someway available with the seventh pick, I’m all for Benning selecting him.

Yes, the Canucks have more depth in forwards than defencemen, but Zadina is not the type of player to pass up. You don’t see that many natural goal-scorers of Zadina’s caliber come along, and he’d be a terrific fit on a rebuilding Canucks team.

I don’t think he’s going to be around when the Canucks pick, but let’s play the fun game and envision that he is. Alright, now Benning can draft Zadina and doesn’t have to worry about forwards for rounds two, three and five. He also can focus entirely on drafting blueliners next year.

Boeser is tough enough to stop on the ice. Imagine if he had Zadina working along his side. When’s the last time one NHL team owned two young wingers with terrific shots? Oh, how fun this rebuild will be.

Next: 2018 NHL draft prospect profile #4: Quinn Hughes

With Svechnikov going to Carolina at two, Zadina becomes the only forward I would condone Vancouver taking over a blueliner. Yes — not even Brady Tkachuk. So if the Canucks get the chance to draft Zadina, then forget about a blueliner this year.