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SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT: #BLUEPRINT EDITION

Kris Baker from SabresProspects.com profiles defenseman Nikita Zadorov

Friday, 09.13.2013 / 1:13 PM / Features
By Kris Baker  - SabresProspects.com
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SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT: #BLUEPRINT EDITION
A towering presence on the blue line, Nikita Zadorov enters the Sabres\u2019 pipeline with an aggressive, physical style and a developing offensive knack.

NIKITA ZADOROV

The Present
A towering presence on the blue line, Zadorov enters the Sabres’ pipeline with an aggressive, physical style and a developing offensive knack. Zadorov steadily worked his way into a key role on the crowded London blue line in 2012-13, emerging with timely goals and game-changing hits in the Knights’ run to the Ontario Hockey League, along the way solidifying his spot as a top prospect for the 2013 draft.

Zadorov will take his hard shooting, hard hitting game back to the OHL for the 2013-14 season, where the Knights are expected to be a leading contender, while also being assured extended minutes in pressure situations with London hosting the 2014 Memorial Cup. In between, a date with Team Russia for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship also remains a strong possibility.

The Future
Zadorov has the look of a solid top-four defender who can play big even-strength minutes and fill a role on the power play. Before making an impact at the pro level, subtle improvements will need to be made in the areas of skating, pivoting, and consistency, while dialing in the details of his defensive zone coverage. With the big-bodied mentality comes the need to execute within proper range. Bone jarring collisions and the odd chip-and-charge into the offensive zone can provide the team energy as long as they don’t leave his partner defending an odd man rush.

The mix of size, shooting, and abrasive checking has scouts drawing comparisons to Chris Pronger. The pieces are in place to achieve that lofty potential, making the next two years of his development paramount to both he and the Sabres’ youth movement.


For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82