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Best & Worst of Zadina: Winger Still Trying To Find Consistency

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

DETROIT — Filip Zadina’s first San Jose Sharks season has been up and down, but three weeks ago, he’d generated some momentum for himself.

After a two-assist performance in a 5-1 win over the Blues on Nov. 16, Zadina started moving up lines. He’d started the season next to fellow Czech Tomas Hertl on the Sharks’ top line, but by that mid-November home game against St. Louis, he was down on the third line.

“I liked Filip’s game,” San Jose Sharks coach David Quinn said afterward. “I like the way his game is trending.”

That led to Zadina being moved up to San Jose’s second line in the next two games. But an injury then stalled him — and that has been the unfortunate story of Zadina’s six-year NHL career. He missed two weeks with an upper-body injury that had nagged him even before the Sharks placed him on IR on Nov. 27.

“It’s nothing I didn’t experience before,” the 24-year-old winger said last week. “It is what it is, I guess.”

It’s the same pattern Zadina experienced with the Detroit Red Wings, who drafted him with much fanfare No. 6 overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. Expected to be a sure-fire 30-goal scorer, Zadina perhaps was rushed into pro hockey at age 19, and then was hampered by injuries and his own inconsistencies. Zadina managed just 28 goals in 190 games in parts of five seasons with the Red Wings.

Zadina walked away from $4.56 million cash and two more years on his Detroit contract last season to sign a $1.1 million prove-it contract with the San Jose Sharks. Now, with three goals and two assists through 22 games in teal, Zadina again is healthy, and he was back in Motown on Thursday night for the Sharks’ thrilling 6-5 OT victory over the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.

Sharks Locker Room: Talking Hertl’s Leadership, Another ‘Crazy’ Comeback

Zadina’s talent still is there, but so is the inconsistency.

Read the Full Story at NBC Sports Bay Area

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