Third on our list of NHL Draft Prospects in Halifax Mooseheads winger Filip Zadina from Pardubice, Czech Republic.
Zadina has really climbed the ratings this season, especially after a fantastic first year in the QMJHL with Halifax, showing off his lethal shot to really become the greatest natural goalscorer available this June.
After spending all his junior career for his hometowns junior system, and even making appearances for the senior team HC Dynamo Pardubice in the Czech mens league, Zadina put up an incredible 82 points in 57 games for the Mooseheads, also adding 8 points in just 7 games for the Czech team in this years World Juniors.
Much like Svechnikov with Dahlin, Zadina hasn’t done anything wrong to stop him from moving up a spot, it’s just a case of the guy ahead of his has done better. Zadina could see himself challenged for the third spot with the selection having a lot of question marks around what exactly the Montreal Canadiens are looking to do with the pick.
In a draft that’s not really got any standout centres avaialbe, Zadina is the third best player in the draft.
In just one year of Major Junior hockey in North America, he posted an unreal 44 goals, finishing tied for third in goals scored in the Q behind Alex Barré-Boulet (53) and Vitali Abramov (45).
A lot of the focus is rightly on his offensive efforts and incredible shot, but don’t underestimate Zadina as a solid player without the puck. At 6’1″ and 192 lbs, he isn’t shy of the physical aspect of the game, relentless on the forecheck and just as effective on the backcheck.
He could be described as a two-way forward, but due to the nature of his shot he’s the best sniper available on June 22nd, so should be calling Montreal home unless they decide to trade the pick.
It may take a little bit for Zadina to show reward at the NHL level, so he might not crack the lineup straight away, but allowing him to fully develop to the North American style and give him time to hit the ground running when he does make the league can only be a good thing, especially if Montreal do keep the pick as he could be given the opportunity to develop in Junior while the Canadien’s sort themselves out before bringing him in.
Once he cracks the NHL, expect him to be reaching 30 goals consistently after a few years of getting used to the pace of the NHL.