Filip Zadina is joining the Detroit Red Wings with an NHL-ready shot and a nice little chip on his shoulder.
The winger out of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads was projected to go as high as No. 3 to the Montreal Canadiens, but fell to Detroit at sixth overall after Montreal GM Marc Bergevin opted to take centreman Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The Ottawa Senators then took gritty winger Brady Tkachuk at No. 4, followed by the Arizona Coyotes raising a few eyebrows by selecting centre Barrett Hayton at fifth.
That left the Red Wings with an easy decision: grab the high-scoring winger at No. 6 overall, an opportunity they didn’t expect to get.
General manager Ken Holland told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman the Red Wings “feel lucky” to have landed the talented Czech, and the feeling appears to be mutual. In an interview following his selection, Zadina expressed his excitement about joining the Red Wings’ organization and admitted he was surprised, too — though it was a “very nice” surprise.
That doesn’t mean he won’t look to teach those who passed him over a lesson on the scoreboard when they meet on NHL ice, though.
“I was telling my agent, if they will pass on me, I’m going to fill their nets with pucks,” the newly-drafted Zadina said, via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. “I want to prove to Detroit that they make a pretty good decision.”
The Red Wings had two picks in Friday’s first round, adding centreman Joe Veleno with the 30th overall pick.
Senators, Canadiens… you’ve been warned.