DETROIT (WOOD) — On Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings officially signed their top draft pick, Filip Zadina, to a three-year entry-level contract.
The 18-year-old Zadina, of the Czech Republic, was the No. 6 overall pick in the NHL draft last month. It seems no Detroit pick in more than 30 years has created as much buzz as him — and at least in development camp, he made it look justified.
Above, Zadina talks with Sports Overtime about the overwhelming support he has received from Red Wings fans since being drafted.
Just wanna say HUGE thanks to my family, agents and Especially to my teammates I would not be here in Detroit organizations without you ! Thanks a lot ! It’s a honour for me to get this opportunity ! I am so excited about upcoming season ! Thank you Detroit!! @DetroitRedWings pic.twitter.com/JRnTkE1y4P— Filip Zadina (@filip_zadina) July 7, 2018
The NHL has decided that because Zadina was on loan to the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, European player rules apply rather than Canadian Hockey League rules. That means that if he doesn’t make the Red Wings’ roster this fall, he can come to Grand Rapids to play for the Griffins rather than be sent back to Halifax.
Zadina also talked with Sports Overtime about his hopes to make the rare jump from the juniors straight to the NHL and what he’s doing to make that happen.
If he is sent to Grand Rapids, there’s a good chance he’ll come alongside Givani Smith, the Red Wings’ second-round draft pick in 2016, who also made a good impression at this year’s development camp.