It was only a matter of time for Filip Zadina. Last night, the Red Wings sixth overall draft pick in 2018 netted his first pair of goals at the professional level in the Grand Rapids Griffins home opener against the Hersey Bears.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying Zadina had a tough preseason, but it wasn’t good enough. He had a strong defensive showing, but had a hard time finding the space to move the puck and get his shot off. He was sent down to Grand Rapids to start the season so he could adjust to the speed of the game at the professional level. It only took him two games to find the back of the net. Here are his two goals:
You can actually tell that Zadina is making the adjustments to the speed of the game on both of these goals.
On the first one, with the puck in his skates, he quickly kicks it up to his stick and doesn’t wait to fire the shot off. The kind of accuracy and power in that shot is exactly what’s going to make him a lethal goal scorer in the NHL. He just needs to adjust to doing it much quicker.
The 2nd goal was more opportunistic as the puck slid right to him on the powerplay, but he didn’t stop to set up his shot. He immediately fired it at the net. The goal almost didn’t go in as it barely crossed the line, but the fact that he didn’t think, just shot is indicative of his conscious effort to think quicker.
The two goals weren’t dominant or confident by any means. Zadina is in progress to adjusting. He’s getting there and it will take him some more time. As he makes his way to his final destination, I get the feeling that we’ll be seeing more than a few more highlights from him in a Griffins jersey.
Last night’s was Zadina’s most impactful game for the Griffins so far. His two goals contributed to the Griffins first win of the season as they downed the Hersey Bears 6-3. Wade Megan, Matt Puempel and Carter Camper also scored while Dominic Turgeon added an empty netter. After a tough start to the season on the road, the Griffins are now 1-2-0.