The Colorado Avalanche have lost Nikita Zadorov indefinitely after he took a puck to the face. There is some concern that he suffered a broken jaw, but the team will not comment on the injury until he sees a doctor later today. Nathan MacKinnon, who also left last night’s game early, is expected to play tomorrow.
Zadorov hasn’t had an easy season to this point, sitting as a healthy scratch at times and seeing his ice time routinely fluctuate. The 24-year old is one of the most feared physical defensemen in the league, but is still inconsistent with the puck and can put his team in penalty trouble.
With the Avalanche now flush with exceptional young defensemen, it’s unclear what the future will really bring for Zadorov. His current contract carries a $3.2MM cap hit and will expire at the end of the year, making him a restricted free agent once again. Missing a chunk of the season won’t help his case in arbitration, if it even gets that far with Colorado.
The team wasted little time bringing a player up to replace Zadorov but instead of recalling a defenseman, forward Jayson Megna is on his way up. Megna has played in four games with Colorado so far this season but has averaged just over five minutes per game.