Cross off one thing on the Avs to do list.
It took a lot longer than anyone wanted or expected but it’s official. The Colorado Avalanche have come to terms with defenseman Nikita Zadorov, signing him to a 2 year, $4.3 million contract. It will carry an annual cap hit of $2.15 million per year. The news was first reported by Adrian Dater of BSNDenver.
“Zadorov is a big, young, physical defenseman who was starting to emerge as one of our top D before his injury last season,” said Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic. “He’s an important part of our blue line and we expect him to log big minutes this year. We are excited to have him under contract.”
Zadorov, 22, is coming off his entry level contract (ELC) in which he spent the last two years in the Avalanche organization. The 6’5 230 pound left shot defenseman was acquired by the Avalanche in the notorious trade that saw forward Ryan O’Reilly going to Buffalo.
Zadorov, a 1st round pick made by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013 Draft, split time between the Avs and AHL’s San Antonio Rampage during the 2015-16 campaign. For the 2016-17 season, Zadorov spent the entire year with the Avs before missing the final 25 games due to an ankle injury. Though he managed only 0 goals and 10 points in 56 games this past season, many saw development and progression from the young Russian.