Canucks acquire Zadorov from Flames in exchange for draft picks


The Vancouver Canucks have added some size and grit to their blue line by trading for Nikita Zadorov from the Calgary Flames. The deal was announced on Thursday, November 30, 2023, and it sends two draft picks to Calgary: a second-round pick in 2024 and a third-round pick in 2025.


Zadorov’s career and contract

Zadorov, 28, is a 6-foot-6, 248-pound defenseman who plays a physical and aggressive style of hockey. He was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round (16th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and has since played for the Colorado Avalanche and the Flames. He has 133 points (40 goals, 93 assists) in 522 career NHL games.

Zadorov is in the final year of a two-year contract that carries a $3.75 million cap hit. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He had a career-high 14 goals last season with the Flames, along with 11 assists and 97 penalty minutes in 82 games.

Why the Canucks wanted Zadorov?

The Canucks have been looking for a defensive upgrade for a while, especially on the left side of their defense. They have Quinn Hughes as their top-pairing defenseman, but the rest of the group consists of Ian Cole, Guillaume Brisebois, and Carson Soucy. None of them are particularly reliable or consistent, and the Canucks have been giving up too many goals and scoring chances.

Zadorov could provide some stability and toughness to the Canucks’ defense. He is not a flashy or offensive-minded player, but he can clear the front of the net, block shots, and deliver hits. He also has some experience playing with Hughes, as they were teammates on Team Russia at the 2023 World Championship.

The Canucks are hoping that Zadorov can help them improve their defensive zone coverage, penalty killing, and physical presence. They are also hoping that he can fit in well with their locker room and culture, as he has been known to be outspoken and controversial at times.

Why the Flames traded Zadorov?

The Flames have been struggling this season, as they are near the bottom of the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. They have been looking to shake things up and make some changes to their roster and coaching staff. They have already fired head coach Darryl Sutter and replaced him with Rick Tocchet, and they have also traded away some of their veteran players, such as Michael Backlund, Noah Hanifin, and Tyler Toffoli.

Zadorov was one of the players who requested a trade from the Flames, as he was unhappy with his role and performance. He also made some critical comments about the team’s lack of effort and identity, which did not sit well with some of his teammates and management. He was a healthy scratch for several games and saw his ice time reduced.

The Flames decided to move on from Zadorov and get some draft picks in return. They are looking to rebuild their team with younger and more skilled players, and they also want to clear some cap space for the future. They have several pending free agents, such as Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Jacob Markstrom, who will need new contracts soon.

What this trade means for both teams?

This trade is a gamble for both teams, as they are hoping that Zadorov can improve the Canucks’ defense and that the draft picks can help the Flames’ rebuild. Both teams are taking a risk, as Zadorov could be a rental player for the Canucks and the draft picks could be busted for the Flames.

The Canucks are trying to make a push for the playoffs, as they are currently in the fourth spot in the Pacific Division and the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. They have been playing better lately, as they have won four of their last five games. They are hoping that Zadorov can help them solidify their defense and compete with the top teams in the league.

The Flames are looking to the future, as they are likely to miss the playoffs for the second straight season. They have been disappointing and inconsistent, as they have lost six of their last seven games. They are hoping that the draft picks they acquired can help them find some young talent and rebuild their team.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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