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Our instant reaction to the Vancouver Canucks acquiring Nikita Zadorov: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
3 months ago
On today’s emergency episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal gave their initial thoughts on the latest trade by Vancouver. The Canucks sent 2026 3rd and 2024 4th round picks to the Calgary Flames for defenceman Nikita Zadorov.
Harm: “I would describe him as a number 4 or 5 type defenceman. He’s somebody that can play on your second pair. He’s a really interesting player; massive and physical, but he also skates really well for his size. Sometimes when a defenceman is that big and physical, people immediately go, ‘Oh, he’s gotta be a big lumbering shut-down guy that can’t really move’- but this guy has legit offensive touch, and he’s driven positive defensive metrics. He is prone to the ‘big mistake’ sometimes, whether it’s turnovers or an occasional defensive miscue, so that’s a reason why he hasn’t been leaned on as a top 4 defenceman, but for this blueline, he’s going to be a legit upgrade. When Soucy comes back, the Canucks will have Hughes, Zadorov, Cole, and Soucy so one of those lefties goes to the right side.”
Harm gave his thoughts on the price the Canucks paid: “I figured if you had to pull the trigger this far ahead of the deadline, the cost might have been in the neighborhood of a 2nd round pick. 3rd and 5th came in below what I anticipated.”
Quads: “Who’s the best partner for Zadorov, and is he the primary puck mover or does he take a secondary role?”
“He’s better as a secondary, even though in transition he can sometimes skate it out,” Harm replied. “He’s gonna fit best with a calm presence, so I think Cole would be a great fit, but it comes down to how quickly you want Zadorov playing on the right side as opposed to the left side. With his aggressive style, he’s going to work best with someone who plays a low-key, steady, clean-up-the-mistakes type of defenceman, and the Canucks don’t really have that piece right now unless they want to separate Hughes and Hronek which I don’t think you want to do. Stylistically Cole is the best fit so long as you’re comfortable with Zadorov on the right side.”
Quads: “Are the Canucks in a position to re-sign Zadorov?”
“It’s going to depend on the fit. The type of contract he’s going to demand will be close to the market value of a legit top-4 defenceman. You have to figure out if this is a guy that can hang in a second pair role on a good team, and that’s something you’ll have to wait and see. One of the other things to keep in mind is the Canucks now have a lot of defencemen that take a high volume of penalties.”
The Canucks now have four of the bottom 10 defencemen in the league in terms of penalty differential in Cole, Myers, Zadorov, and Soucy.
Quads: “Do you like that they pushed it down the road with a 2026 3rd round pick instead of one in a more recent draft?”
Harm: “Absolutely, the team’s window is over the next few years. You have to keep in mind it’s not just the players you have on your roster but what your window is based on the contracts on the books. You have Demko on a bargain $5 million cap-hit through the 2026 season, 3 more years of Hughes under $8 million, Miller at 30 years old $8 million cap-hit- these next 2-3 seasons are probably the most value you’re going to get out of him so the Canucks’ window is over these next 2-4 years. I’m not worried about a 2026 3rd round pick.”
Watch the full 30 minute emergency episode in the video below:

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