By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on right wing Filip Zadina.
When the Red Wings selected Filip Zadina sixth overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the pick had Wings fans dancing in the streets.
Projected by many draft experts to go third overall in his draft class behind defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and right wing Andrei Svechnikov, Detroit couldn't believe their good fortune when the 6-foot, 195-pound goal-scoring machine slipped to them at No. 6.
During his draft year, Zadina was on loan from HC Pardubice of the Czech league to the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), where he tore up the 'Q' as a rookie.
In 57 games for Halifax, the Czech Republic native led all rookies in scoring and was seventh overall in the league by netting 82 points (44-38-82). He was plus-23 and assessed 36 penalty minutes.
Based on his rookie campaign, Zadina was named QMJHL First Team All-Star, All-Rookie Team and captured the Mike Bossy Trophy as the best professional prospect in the league.
Zadina is a solid two-way player who prides himself on playing a complete game. But it is his goal-scoring ability which makes him a special breed.
He has all the weapons in his goal-scoring arsenal: a good, hard and heavy slap shot, a wrist shot that he gets off quickly, as well as an impressive backhand, snap shot and one-timer, coupled with a shooting accuracy which is downright uncanny.
A strong and sturdy skater who wins puck battles and protects the puck well, you can tell Zadina is a coach's son in the way he anticipates the game by making heady plays.
It was a no-brainer for the Red Wings to take Zadina sixth overall in 2018. He became Detroit's highest draft pick since the Wings selected Keith Primeau third overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
Being such a high draft pick, Zadina knew the expectation level was astronomical when he entered last year's prospect tournament and Red Wings training camp.
Though the 18-year-old at times displayed his raw talent, it became apparent he needed to adjust to the speed and physical nature of professional hockey.
Detroit sent him to its American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he spent the season learning and honing his skill set to the pro game.
With a year of pro hockey under his belt, Zadina will be given every opportunity to make the Wings roster out of training camp.
If he is with the Red Wings on opening night Oct. 5 in Nashville, it means he was a prolific goal scorer during the preseason, which is exactly what Detroit needs as it competes in the NHL's rugged Atlantic Division.
59 - As a first-year pro, Zadina appeared in 59 games for Grand Rapids, which was second most by a rookie on the team. Givani Smith led all Griffins rookies in games played with 64.
16 - His 16 goals was sixth best on Grand Rapids and placed him in a multiple tie for ninth overall among AHL rookies. Chris Terry's 29 goals was tops on the Griffins.
19 - Zadina doled out 19 assists last season, which led all Grand Rapids rookies and ranked fifth overall on the team. Carter Camper was the Griffins assist leader with 33.
35 - The rookie's 35 total points was fifth on the club and ranked 30th overall in the AHL's rookie class. Terry led the Griffins' attack with 61 points.
-17 - His minus-17 was the highest of the Griffins and placed Zadina in a multiple tie for seventh highest overall among AHL rookies.
18 - His 18 total penalty minutes ranked well below Dylan McIlrath's team-leading 98 penalty minutes.
1 - On February 24 versus the San Jose Sharks, Zadina made his NHL debut in Detroit's 5-3 loss at Little Caesars Arena. In his first NHL game he was held pointless, was minus-1 with one shot on goal in 10:38 of total ice time. Zadina's first career NHL point and goal came on March 5 in Colorado on the power play. In the Wings' 4-3 overtime loss, Zadina fired five shots on goal, was plus-1 and had an ice time average of 18:16. The shots on goal and his ice time were the highest of his budding NHL career.
9 - Because they didn't want to burn off the first year of his three-year entry-level deal, the Wings called up Zadina in February to play in nine NHL games before the first year of his contract kicked in. In his nine games with Detroit, he notched one goal (on the power play) and doled out two assists for three total points. He was minus-5, did not receive a penalty, had 18 shots on goal with an ice time average of 15:23 per game.
Quotable: "I think it went well. I think like most young players that turned pro, there were some ups and downs for him. I thought he played probably his best hockey right around the middle of the season. But I think he learned a lot. It's not easy for an 18-year-old to come, step in and play in the AHL right away. He got some good experience, he played in some games up in the NHL and I think that was valuable for him going into the offseason to make him realize just how much harder he had to work and I think it made him even more hungry.
"He's a scorer so most goal scorers are guys that are really able to find the holes well, they know where the scoring areas are and they need someone to be able to get them the puck there. He's a lot like other goal scorers where he needs to get the puck in the right area because he's a shooter, he likes to score, but at the same time, we don't want him to be just a one-dimensional player. We want him to be good all over the ice, be responsible, but he also has the ability to make plays. He's got some good vision, some passing ability so I don't think he's just that one single-minded player that's just a shooter/scorer, I think he's got some playmaking ability and he can be more than that. I think he's naturally gifted for sure as a shooter. We actually worked on quite a few different things with his release this year in the offseason, just trying to give him an even wider range of shots. I think the best shooters in the league, the guys who score the most goals, change the angle the best. They can shoot it both in stride, they can pull it in from out to in and shoot it across their feet, they can move it from their feet and out and shoot it, they're not just guys who need to get it in their strike zone to release it. No young players or very, very few come in the league and are just able to score right away. They have to come in and find out what works in the league and obviously work on their craft. Z's no different." -- Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development/assistant director of player personnel