The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan examines 5 Red Wings who “could rebound” from difficult 2018-2019 seasons this afternoon. Since I’m in Traverse City at present, I’m picking Kulfan’s only candidate who is participating in the prospect tournament:
Filip Zadina: Last year’s first-round pick is on this list mainly because of the large upside that likely still exists for Zadina.
After not making the Wings out of camp, Zadina had 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) in 59 games with Grand Rapids, with a minus-17 rating (he had one assist in five playoff games, with minus-3).
Zadina had three points (one goal, two assists) in nine games with the Wings, and a minus-5.
At age 19, Zadina went through a professional baptism to be sure, learning about the jump from junior hockey to the pro level.
Given his talent, and another year adjusting to the pro game, Zadina should improve his offensive numbers this season.
Kulfan continues, discussing Justin Abdelkader, Mike Green and Frans Nielsen’s situations.
As far as Zadina is concerned, he’s got all the talent necessary to evolve into a star player. It’s just a matter of becoming a dynamic player by inching away from his favorite scoring spot at the right faceoff dot, and starting to shoot the puck from all areas of the ice. Maturity takes time to mold and encourage, so the more Zadina plays, the better he should become (in theory, anyway).