If it seemed like déjà vu to you then be assured you weren’t alone. Filip Zadina taking the hockey world by storm during the World Junior Hockey Championship was fun to watch and the second such Mooseheads star to do it in as many years after Nico Hischier’s dominance with Switzerland helped him become the first overall selection in June’s NHL Entry Draft. Hischier had an amazing tournament but Zadina’s might have been even better.
“His compete level and world-class skill was present every shift. He wants to score and he wants to win. Who wouldn’t like that?” Mooseheads GM Cam Russell said.
Zadina led his team to a fourth place finish. He was named player of the game in Canada’s 7-2 win over the Czech’s in Thursday’s semi-final where he scored both of his country’s goals. His seven total goals were among the tournament leaders and he was top five in overall scoring with eight points. Like Hischier, he was a major spark plug in helping his team exceed expectations although Zadina took things a step further and the Czech Republic pulled off an upset of Finland in the quarter-finals before getting a chance to play for Bronze against USA. The Czech forward had two goals in that upset win over the Finns.
“I think his showing in this tournament has obviously solidified him as a top pick this June,” Russell noted.
The 18-year-old from Pardubice who leads all Canadian Hockey League rookies in scoring had been discussed as a potential top 10 pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft coming into this season but with his latest performance against the world’s best coupled with an outstanding 46 points in 32 games with the Mooseheads has his name being mentioned as one of the top three players available. The consensus number two prospect, Andrei Svechnikov of Russia, was hands down outplayed by Zadina. The Barrie Colts player was held without a goal at the World Juniors and finished with five assists for the Russians.
Zadina will bring a major boost to the Maritimes Divison leading Mooseheads when he returns to the lineup next week. In the meantime Halifax, ranked eighth in the latest CHL rankings, will continue a road trip without their leading scorer when the team visits the Saint John Sea Dogs Saturday night at 7pm and Acadie-Bathurst on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.
The next home game is set for Thursday, January 11th against the Charlottetown Islanders on student night at Scotiabank Centre. Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or call 451-1221.