Nikita Zadorov

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Nikita Zadorov
Born (1995-04-16) 16 April 1995 (age 23)
Moscow, Russia
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Weight 235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Colorado Avalanche
Buffalo Sabres
NHL Draft 16th overall, 2013
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2012–present

Nikita Sergeevich Zadorov (born 16 April 1995) is a Russian professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). Zadorov was a first round selection, 16th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.

Playing career


Zadorov played in the top minor hockey level with his hometown team in Moscow, Krasnaya Armiya, in the 2011–12 season. Showing unique agility and skating prowess for a formidable frame, Zadorov collected 6 points in 42 games. He was selected by affiliate Kontinental Hockey League club, HC CSKA Moscow, in the first round (fourth overall) in the 2012 KHL Junior Draft.[1] However, with an impressive performance with the junior national U17 team in Windsor, Ontario and stating his intention to pursue a career in North America in order to be selected in the NHL draft, London Knights G.M. Mark Hunter traded up with the Peterborough Petes in the 2012 CHL Import Draft to select Zadorov 9th overall.[2]

After agreeing to a contract with the contending Knights, Zadorov began his major junior career in the Ontario Hockey League in the 2012–13 season. Joining fellow Russian, Vladislav Namestnikov and after adapting to the differing style and dimensions of the North American game, Zadorov assumed a top pairing role and led All-Rookie defenseman in Plus/minus with 33, and finishing second in scoring with 6 goals and 25 points in 63 games.[3] Earning a roster spot in the 2013 CHL Top Prospects Game, Zadorov helped the Knights claim the OHL championship to advance to the Memorial Cup.[2] As he was selected to the OHL First-All Rookie Team, he scored the game-winner in the opening game against the Saskatoon Blades before losing in the semi-finals. Zadorov's impressive season was noted as he was selected with the Buffalo Sabres' second first-round pick, 16th overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Buffalo Sabres

Zadorov attended his first rookie and NHL training camp and after his third pre-season contest he was signed by the Sabres to a three-year, entry-level deal on 26 September 2013.[4] Under the assessment of head coach Ron Rolston, he made the Sabres opening night roster to begin the 2013–14 season.[5] Zadorov sat out the first 10 games before he made his NHL debut skating in a 4-2 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche on 19 October 2013.[6] In just his second game, Zadorov scored on his first shot in the NHL against Chad Johnson in a 5-2 defeat to the Boston Bruins on 23 October 2013.[7] In scoring he became the youngest Sabres defenseman in franchise history to achieve the feat.[8] With the Sabres cleaning out the front office and coaching staff, and with an imperative to rely less on the youth from new head coach Ted Nolan, Zadorov was returned to junior with the London Knights after 7 games on 19 November 2013.[9] Zadorov played out the remainder of the season with the Knights, assuming a top-pairing role in surpassing his rookie season totals in points (30) in half the amount of games (36), earning a selection to the OHL Second All-Star Team.[10]

Despite a benching during the rookie pre-season tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, Zadorov rebounded to have a strong training camp to make the Sabres' opening-night roster in the 2014–15 season as a permanent addition to the blueline.[11][12] He initially only saw limited playing time as a rotational option to the third-pairing under Ted Nolan and was primarily on the team for practice only (he was not yet eligible for the American Hockey League and a tie-up involving Zadorov's Kontinental Hockey League rights prevented him from being returned to juniors).[13] Zadorov's playing time soon increased in the season as the team's coaching staff decided to keep Zadorov regardless of his junior situation.[14][15] In developing a shut-down role through his physicality, Zadorov showed offensive glimpses, collecting his first multi-point game in scoring an overtime marker in a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on 13 December 2014.[16] Zadorov also became the youngest Sabres defenseman in history in scoring an overtime winner.[17] Zadorov showed his youth by suffering two team suspensions over the course of his rookie campaign, after returning late from holiday over the All-Star break and later oversleeping through a team practice.[18] Despite a lowly year for the Sabres, Zadorov led the blueline in Plus-minus, and finished with 3 goals, 12 assists in 60 games.[19]

Colorado Avalanche

At the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Zadorov was traded as a central piece by the Sabres in a package that included, Mikhail Grigorenko, J. T. Compher, and the 31st pick in the draft to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn on 26 June 2015.[20]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2011–12 Krasnaya Armiya MHL 41 2 4 6 63 8 0 0 0 8
2012–13 London Knights OHL 63 6 19 25 54 20 2 4 6 36
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 7 1 0 1 4
2013–14 London Knights OHL 36 11 19 30 43 9 4 5 9 12
2014–15 Buffalo Sabres NHL 60 3 12 15 51
2015–16 Colorado Avalanche NHL 22 0 2 2 12
2015–16 San Antonio Rampage AHL 52 10 19 29 90
2016–17 Colorado Avalanche NHL 56 0 10 10 73
2017–18 Colorado Avalanche NHL 77 7 13 20 103 6 1 2 3 32
NHL totals 222 11 37 48 243 6 1 2 3 32
Medal record
Ice hockey
Representing  Russia
World Junior Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Malmö


Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2012 Russia WHC17 1st, gold medalist(s) 5 0 3 3 8
2012 Russia IH18 5th 4 0 3 3 0
2012 Russia WJC18 5th 6 2 0 2 4
2014 Russia WJC 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 7 4 1 5 6
Junior totals 22 6 7 13 18

Awards and honours

Award Year
First All-Rookie Team 2013 [21]
CHL Top Prospects Game 2013
Second All-Star Team 2014 [10]
WJC All-Star Team 2014


  1. ^ "KHL Entry Draft 2012". Kontinental Hockey League. 2012-08-02. Retrieved 2014-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Size, mobility give Zadorov "Unlimited Potential"". National Hockey League. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Nikita Zadorov prospect profile". Buffalo Sabres. 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  4. ^ "Sabres sign Zadorov to entry-level contract". Buffalo Sabres. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Sabres' Nikita Zadorov a Zdeno Chara in the making". 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  6. ^ "Zadorov shines in his season debut". Buffalo News. 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  7. ^ "Sabres lose to Bruins, off to worst start in team history". CBS Sports. 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  8. ^ "Game preview at Rangers". 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  9. ^ "Buffalo Sabres shake up roster, demote Zadorov to junior". 2013-11-19. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  10. ^ a b "OHL announces 2013-14 All-Star teams". Ontario Hockey League. 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  11. ^ "Cassidy benched Zadorov". 2014-09-15. Retrieved 2014-09-15. 
  12. ^ "Wait and see mode for Knights". 2014-10-01. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  13. ^ Hoppe, Bill (2014-10-15). "Michal Neuvirth set to start again in net, Zadorov could play soon". Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  14. ^ Hoppe, Bill (2014-11-17). "Sabres plan to keep Nikita Zadorov". Retrieved 2014-11-17. 
  15. ^ "Sabres' Zadorov won't be released for World Juniors". NBC Sports. 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  16. ^ "Zadorov leads Sabres over Panthers". CBS Sports. 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  17. ^ "Nikita Zadorov player biography". Buffalo Sabres. 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  18. ^ "Sabre's Nikita Zadorov apologetic about missing meeting". 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  19. ^ "Buffalo Sabres year in review: Nikita Zadorov". 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  20. ^ "Avalanche trade O'Reilly to Sabres". The Sports Network. 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  21. ^ "Connor McDavid win OHL rookie of the year". Niagara Falls Review. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2016-05-06. 

External links

  • Nikita Zadorov career statistics at
  • Nikita Zadorov career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rasmus Ristolainen
Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Sam Reinhart
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