Potential Maple Leafs UFA target Nikita Zadorov set to hit open market

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
15 days ago
We’re less than 72 hours away from the beginning of free agency on July 1st, and the latest reports and rumours about free agency and the draft are heating up.
Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin confirmed that Nikita Zadorov will test the open market in free agency. Zadorov was acquired by the Canucks in November from the Calgary Flames, in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick and 2026 third-round pick.
As many know, the initial report of a trade request from Zadorov involved Toronto and had fans on the edge of their seats, preparing for a possible trade to the Maple Leafs after his agent, Dan Milstein, sent an intriguing tweet that seemed to indicate that his client wanted out of Calgary. Zadorov is widely considered to be on Brad Treliving’s radar and the duo could become reunited with the Maple Leafs in the coming days. Treliving previously signed Zadorov to his previous two contracts and he ticks all the proverbial boxes he’s looking for.
Over the past week, the Canucks have been one of the busiest teams in the league, re-signing their pending UFA’s and RFA’s and clearing cap space. They began by locking up Filip Hronek to an eight-year deal, followed by a two-year extension for Teddy Blueger. The Canucks then dumped salary by trading Ilya Mikheyev along with other assets, allowing them to retain Dakota Joshua on a four-year deal and Tyler Myers on a three-year contract.
Zadorov is coming off a two-year contract which carried an AAV of $3.75M — which was respectable, given the season he had and playoffs with the Canucks. In 75 games split between Calgary and Vancouver, Zadorv scored six goals and added 14 assists for 20 points, one season after recording 14 goals and 21 points.
It’s unknown what his price tag will ultimately be, but recent reports and rumours have been indicating he could fetch anywhere north of 5 million dollars annually.
(Stats from hockeydb.com)

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