Filip Zadina, ready for prime time
Over the course of their history the Halifax Mooseheads have had their share of high profile import National Hockey League prospects and future stars.
From Nikolaj Ehlers, to Timo Meier, to the first overall pick of 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Nico Hischier, the Mooseheads organization has become a pipeline to the NHL.
Filip Zadina is the next Mooseheads import star to have his sights firmly set on NHL stardom.
Projected to go inside the Top 3 of the 2018 NHL Draft, the Pardubice, Czech Republic, product is one of the purest scorers of this year’s draft class and possesses all the characteristics and tools needed to be an exceptional pro.
“Filip possesses an NHL shot with good offensive instincts”, said Ottawa Senators Chief Amateur Scout, Trent Mann. “He is highly competitive and will be very effective on the power play. He has a chance to play in the league next year!”
Balancing the distractions, high expectations and pressure in a draft year can be a daunting task, but the young left winger also had to confront the North American game and rink size in his first season in the QMJHL.
Zadina crushed any concerns with that transition almost instantly. The 18-year-old phenom lit the lamp 44 times in only 57 regular season games and added 38 assists for 82 points. Hu cumulated another five goals and seven assists in nine playoff games.
“Filip a pure sniper”, said one Eastern Conference-based NHL Amateur Scout. “He’s strong and hard to knock off the puck. He also has good vision and is a good playmaker. He likes to go to the middle of the ice and gets into the dangerous areas, where his shot and quick release become very dangerous.”
Zadina topped all QMJHL rookies in goals, assists and points this past season, finished seventh in league scoring and went on to win the 2018 Mike Bossy Trophy, awarded to the QMJHL’s Best Professional Prospect.
Zadina’s success and subsequent All-Star performance at the 2018 World Juniors only solidified is NHL draft stock. The 6’1’’ and 192 pounds sniper found the back of the net seven times in as many games during junior hockey’s most prestigious tournament.
Even though the Halifax Mooseheads are hosting the 2019 Memorial Cup, the stage is definitely set for Zadina to make the potential jump to the next level.
“Zadina is a well-rounded player with offensive versatility”, said Shane Turner, an Amateur Scout for the Dallas Stars. “He is better at shooting, especially quick snappers, but has some deft puck handling skills, really good edges and can power through checks. Plus he finds open ice real well.”
As for Troy Dumville of NHL Central Scouting, he is quick to point out Zadina’s impact on the QMJHL and international stage. “Wherever he goes, he gets it done. He’s a pretty exciting talent”, Dumville said.
Of all the 2018 NHL Prospects in the QMJHL, Dumville believes Zadina is the most NHL-ready. “Filip is an elite talent. He’s a natural finisher and I have no concerns he’s going to be an impact player at the next level”, he explained.
But will Filip Zadina be in the NHL next season?
“It’s a big statement for anybody, no matter if it’s Dahlin or Svechnikov, or any of those guys”, added Dumville. “Your first year at that level can be challenging, but I think Filip is physically mature enough to play [in the NHL]. He has some attributes that teams will like and he plays a pro game already. There’s definitely some potential there.”
It’s undeniable that Filip Zadina will be an NHL star, it’s just a matter of when and where at this point.