Detroit Red Wings’ Filip Zadina scores twice, on a tear in Czech league

Detroit Free Press

Helene St. James
| Detroit Free Press

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Filip Zadina is demonstrating the offensive instincts that so enticed the Detroit Red Wings when they drafted him two years ago.

While NHL regulars for the Wings are making do with self-staged scrimmages locally because of the pandemic, top young players and prospects are maximizing the opportunity to play in Europe. 

Zadina, who is on loan to HC Ocelari Trinec in his native Czech Republic, scored twice Wednesday to lead his team past Bílí Tygři Liberec, 3-1.

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It’s only been three games for Zadina, but he already has four goals and one assist. The latter was earned setting up a goal in overtime. 

General manager Steve Yzerman loaned Zadina to the team in the top Czech league when it became apparent the NHL would not be able to start as usual in October because of COVID-19. 

In addition to Zadina, Filip Hronek, Moritz Seider, Joe Veleno and Gustav Lindstrom are among Wings prospects playing in Europe. Seider has built a five-game point streak with Rögle in the Swedish Hockey League. While the players loaned to the SHL are there for the season, Zadina and Hronek, who also plays in the Czech Republic, are expected to return to Detroit when there’s a concrete plan for the NHL to start the 2021 season.

Zadina, who turns 21 on Nov. 27, was one of the few bright spots during the Wings’ miserable 2019-20 season. After a pedestrian training camp that had team executives worried if the sixth pick from 2018 would live up to expectations, Zadina joined the Wings in late November, called up after an injury to Anthony Mantha.

Zadina’s season was cut short by a lower-body injury, but from Nov. 23-Feb.1 he was tied with Robby Fabbri for the team lead with eight goals and ranked third on the team with 15 points, behind Dylan Larkin (21) and Fabbri (17). 

The Czech Extraliga isn’t NHL-level hockey, but it’s a great sign for the Wings that Zadina is dominating at that level. 

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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