Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets is reporting that Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina has cleared waivers and will remain with the team. Detroit put the 2018 sixth overall pick on waivers yesterday and no team wanted to pick up the tab on his $1.825MM cap hit. Zadina has struggled to establish himself in the league putting up just 28 goals and 68 points in 190 career NHL games and while he does have the pedigree of being a recent top-10 pick in the entry draft, the on-ice results have been less than stellar.
The Athletic’s Max Bultman reported yesterday that the 23-year-old asked for a trade through his agent before the draft and Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to accommodate Zadina’s request but has been unable to find a suitor and it’s easy to see why. Zadina had just three goals last season to go along with four assists in 30 games while averaging a tick over 13 minutes a game in ice time. By placing Zadina on waivers Detroit expanded the possibility of facilitating his move to a new team but were unable to find a taker for him and the remaining two years on his contract.
It’s a little bit surprising that none of the rebuilding teams in the league took a gamble on Zadina given his draft pedigree, but it goes to show just how little cap space there is around the league and how poor Zadina’s on-ice results have been. While his offensive play has left a lot to be desired, his analytics and fancy stats have been decent in what has been a fourth-line role for the most part. Given that he hasn’t been able to produce on the fourth line teams opted to let him pass through waivers.
It’s unclear what will happen with Zadina going forward. Detroit could welcome him back next season or may still try and facilitate a trade for another player on a bad contract. Either way, it’s become clear that both the team and the player view a fresh start as a best-case scenario.