Dallas Stars Draft Spotlight: Nikita Zadorov
Another player to watch around the Stars' pick is Nikita Zadorov. He is a strong defenseman who comes into this draft at 6'5, 220-230 lbs. The first thing I noticed when watching clips of Zadorov was his skating ability and relatively fluid puck handling.
Zadorov hails from Russia but played the last season in the OHL with the London Knights where he registered 25 points in 64 games. For a player his size having above average skating abilities and puck handling, there is a lot of upside especially as he transitions into the NHL. Shut-down defensemen with such a mix of talent are hard to come by these days.
Notice in the video below how he moves and the decisions he makes when he is away from the puck, especially when set up in the offensive zone. Despite his large frame, he slips by the opposing players and puts himself in places to get scoring chances or set others up. Being a defenseman whose main concern with scouts is his offensive ability, this hockey sense is translatable to the pro level as he continues to develop his skills.
I know the Stars are heavy on defensive prospects, but Zadorov would not be a bad option for Dallas moving forward, especially if the draft board is thin come late top-10; a young player with not many weaknesses in his game is tough to come by.