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Nikita Zadorov Profile

Nikita Zadorov
Ht/Wt: 6' 5"/230 lbs
Position: D
Team: London (OHL)

Nikita Zadorov's Player Profile

Zadorov is an elite physical player who possesses many tools for future success. He has a 6'5", 220-pound frame, and he is unusually strong for a player his age. He uses it to his advantage, as he loves to take the body and land highlight reel hits. He skates at an above-average to plus level, which is significant for a player at his size. He can close gaps remarkably well. The rest of his game is not as impressive, but he could be a fine puck mover and positional defender. Scouting sources have divided opinion on both of those fronts. He has improved as the OHL season has progressed. He shows ability to move the puck and make good reads in his own end, but his decision making is not always perfect. He possesses some offensive upside, but it is likely more in the average range.
Submitted by: Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus. Click here for Pronman's draft rankings

Strengths Ė Nikita Zadorov is one of, if not my favorite draft eligible defenseman in this yearís draft class. He has big, powerful strides and is an above average skater, which is impressive given his size. He has a huge frame and when he uses it to his advantage and plays with an edge, heís a dominant player. The good thing about Zadorov is that he often does just that. At just 18 years of age, he has man strength and isnít afraid to use it. Zadorov makes a good first pass and can move the puck quite effectively. Heís a confident player and will have no problems carrying the puck up the ice, either. His puck skills are by no means elite, but he does have above average skills and is a good puck possession player. He is very hard to get around and is strong in his own zone. He doesnít lose many puck battles and for the most part is positionally sound. Zadorov doesnít get rattled easy and can consistently eat up big minutes. He plays in all situations and, while heís not a power play dynamo, heís not out of place on the power play and can play on the penalty kill as well.

Weaknesses Ė Zadorovís a talented player but sometimes he tries to force a play when itís best to keep it simple and make the high percentage play. Zadorovís raw but is very talented and as he gains more experience, the amount of mistakes he makes will continually grow smaller. Right now he has the tools to play the game at a high level but is still learning exactly how to utilize them. His offensive game is continually getting better but Iím not sure itís good enough for him to translate into a defenseman capable of running a top power play unit and producing offense at the NHL level.

Career Projection Ė Zadorov doesnít have many flaws in his game and is pretty well rounded, but I think a realistic projection for Zadorov is a #3 defenseman who can play 2nd unit power play and play on the top penalty killing unit. Should Zadorov continue to improve offensively, he could be capable of becoming a top pairing defenseman.
Submitted by: Todd Cordell of The Hockey Guys - May 23rd 2013

Potential is an overused word youíll hear a lot come draft day but itís a word that really describes what Nikita Zadorovís game is about. Sure, the 6-foot-5 blueliner is a physical freak at such a young age. And sure, heís already a very good all around player. But if he lives up to his potential, weíre talking about a franchise defenseman right here.

Zadorovís game is a little rough around the edges, but his competitiveness and physicality allow him to really impact the game. His offense is continuing to evolve and his positioning in the defensive zone has also steadily improved this year. If his game continues to develop, heís well worth a Top 10 pick.
Submitted by: The Scouting Report

A hulking defenceman at 6'5" and 230 pounds, Nikita Zadorov is not like most imports who come into the OHL. He has been incredible on the blueline in London, giving the Knights solid stay-at-home defending much in the style of Scott Harrington, who will be graduating upon the completion of the 2012-13 season. Zadorov is hoping to become the second Knights import blueliner in as many years to be chosen in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, a year after Olli Maatta was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Zadorov has been everything that London has wanted him to be this year and he has acclimated quite rapidly to the North American style of play. He has only elevated his draft status each and every game, something that should make any NHL organization happy when they call his name in June. One great thing about Zadorov is that he has incredible defensive acumen. By February 2013, he had already garnered a plus/minus ranking of +31, tied for third best in the entire OHL. He has been physical, using his size not much to intimidate other players but more to assert himself on the ice, much like Jarred Tinordi did in his two years in London. Zadorov also has great leadership despite that he does not speak much English but, as the language barrier breaks, it will become even more apparent.
Submitted by: Margann Laurissa - updated Feb. 4th

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Nikita Zadorov Videos

OHL: Knights CHL import draft - Nikita Zadorov

Johnny McGuire vs Nikita Zadorov

Nikita Zadorov vs Ryan Horvat

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