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SJHN Daily: Zadina on Renouncing Contract, Why It Didn’t Work in Detroit



Credit: Grand Rapids Griffins

Filip Zadina concedes that the Detroit Red Wings might have played him in the NHL before he was ready.

In a recent interview with, new San Jose Sharks forward Zadina shared with journalist Uffe Bodin that “it’s tough for a young rookie to come to a team under rebuilding like Detroit was then.”

The 2018 sixth-overall pick turned pro in 2018-19 at just 19 years old. He admits that he was happy to debut in the NHL so quickly, notching a goal and two assists in those nine games. He spent the rest of that season in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

But what could have been, maybe Zadina would have benefitted from more time dominating the QMJHL? In his Draft year, he had 44 goals and 38 assists in just 57 games for the Halifax Mooseheads.

In five years in the Red Wings organization, Zadina shuttled between Detroit and Grand Rapids, totaling just 28 goals and 40 assists in 190 NHL games. Last year, felled by injury and passed over on the depth chart, he had just three goals and four assists in 30 appearances.

Zadina doesn’t seem to blame the Detroit organization for his lack of success, but he was clearly ready for a fresh start this summer. After attempts to trade him and his three-year, $5.475 million contract failed, Zadina renounced the rest of the pact, even though it still had two years left, along with $4.56 million actual cash owed, to become an unrestricted free agent.

He signed with the San Jose Sharks for just one year and $1.1 million.

“Sometimes you have to sacrifice something to get something more out of life,” Zadina told Bodin. “I am still young and I will be able to earn the money later.”

Zadina is hoping to find his confidence and joy for the game in San Jose.


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