One of the returns for this offseason's Brandon Saad trade for the Blackhawks was 25-year-old, 6'5 defenseman Nikita Zadorov – who Hawks head coach Jeremy Colliton sounded thrilled about on the latest episode of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast.
"He adds a dimension that we don't have a lot of, he's very physical and he wants the contact, and when you're on the ice against him, you better know where he is," Colliton said on the podcast. "He's a tremendous skater and that's really a nice combination to have. It's a guy who can get stops in the defensive zone, get a pin, separate a guy from the puck, allow us to get out. He's also a guy [that] with his skating, we want him to force turnovers in the neutral zone as well."
Colliton isn't the only member of the Hawks excited about having Zadorov join the squad. "I got a text from Patrick Kane right after I got traded. He said he’s really excited he doesn’t have to play against me anymore," the new Chicago D-man told Blackhawks media on Oct. 12.
The big blueliner recorded 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 64 games last season for the Colorado Avalanche. He also tallied five points (three goals, two assists) in 15 games during Colorado's 2020 postseason run in which they were eliminated by the Dallas Stars in the second round.