It’s been a pleasure watching Filip Zadina on video the past two years and there was no doubt that going into tonight’s game I considered him a top-five candidate for the draft. After seeing him live, however, I’m having a tough time considering him as anything but a top-three prospect.
He’s got it all. Elite pucks skills and smarts, high-end compete level and skating, a wicked release and shot, supreme vision and playmaking ability, defensive hockey sense, and good size and strength. He is one of the most complete forwards I have seen in my ten years of professional scouting.
Halifax defeated Gatineau 7-5 in the contest, and the person who selected the three stars couldn’t have had an easier time deciding on who should be the games first star as Zadina ended the game with three goals and an assist.
From the first shift of the game, he was creating offence, forechecking hard, throwing hits along the wall, stickhandling in tight quarters, setting up teammates and finding open shooting lanes. On the shift where he scored his first goal, Zadina could have had two goals. Not 20 seconds earlier he had an identical scoring chance in which he received the puck in the high slot, stickhandled into a scoring area and unleashed a terrific snapshot that went off the top of the goalie’s shoulder. The second time around there was no shoulder; he found the top corner and the goalie had no chance on the howitzer.