Nikita Zadorov Winnipeg Hockey Talk Prospect

 

Nikita Zadorov

Nikita Zadorov  Profile
League: OHL       Team: London Knights
Position: Defence  Shoots: Left
Height: 6’5″  Weight: 230 lbs.
DOB:  Apr.15, 95    Hometown: Moscow 
GP G A PTS +/-   PIM  
63 6 19 25 +33   54  

 

Nikita Zadorov played this past season for the Ontario Hockey League Champion London Knights.

In the 2011-12 season Zadorov played in the MHL which is the top developmental league in Russia.  He was drafted 9th overall in the 2012-13 CHL Import Draft.  As a rookie, Zadorov started out the season playing against the oppositions 3rd and 4th lines but finished the season as one of London’s top shut-down defencemen. 

Nikita Zadorov finished the regular season with an impressive plus/minus of +33 with 54 penalty minutes in 63 games. 

Offence — Zadorov’s offensive game is like night and day from the start of the season.  He was strictly a stay at home defenceman but gained some offensive confidence and started using his good skating and mobility to join the rush and get involved in the offence.  He has a very hard and heavy slapshot and a decent wrist-shot.  As the season progressed, Zadorov started using  his under-rated  stick-handling and passing skills and it was reflected in his improved offensive stats.

 

Defence — Zadorov is a  big defenceman that uses his size and opposing forwards really need to keep their heads up coming into the London end of the ice.  He plays tough along the boards and in front of the net. 

Nikita Zadorov     Photo by Terry Wilson

Nikita Zadorov Photo by Terry Wilson

Skating

Nikita Zadorov is an very good skater with very good mobility making him extremely hard to beat to the outside. Like all good defenceman he maintains good gap control and closes quickly on forwards to take the body.  His is an excellent backwards skater making it very difficult to beat one-on-one off the rush.

 

 

Nikita Zadorov’s Steady Rise Up The Draft Rankings

Zadorov was eligible, but not selected to play for Russia’s U20 team at the WJHC in Ufa Russia.   In Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings, Zadorov only ranked 30th among North American skaters.  He had elevated his ranking to 22nd in the final regular season report.

Central Scouting is just a guideline and all NHL teams have their own rankings, but to me Zadorov’s rankings have been the most inconsistent rankings of all the 1st round prospects.  Some NHL scouts will tell you he could  be a top 10 prospect.  What NHL team wouldn’t want a big strong shut-down defenceman with very under-rated puck skills?  

Look for Zadorov to be selected anywhere from 8th -14th overall. 

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