The Buffalo Sabres might not have room on their blue line for young defenceman Nikita Zadorov, but the defenceman has other ideas and is doing what he can to make a lasting impact on the Buffalo Sabres.
In the Sabres first preseason game of the year, a loss against the Washington Capitals, Nikita Zadorov destroyed Michael Latta when he flipped him head over skates. The hit looked something like this;
Here’s the full video of the perfectly executed hip check delivered by Zadorov.
The Sabres went on to lose their first preseason game 1-0 to the Capitals despite strong play from numerous rookies including defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen and goaltender Nathan Lieuwen who had strong games.
The London Knights defenceman is known for his physical game on the blue line where he looks to punish opponents in order to separate them from the puck. The only way to go past Zadorov is to get hammered right into the boards. The Buffalo Sabres drafted Nikita Zadorov 16th overall in the 2013 draft and drafted him to do just what he did in the video above.
Zadorov is determined to show the Sabres and head coach Ted Nolan that he is ready for a full-time role with the Sabres this upcoming season, stating that he’ll do whatever he needs to in order to accomplish that. However, it appears the cards may be stocked against him as all signs hint he’ll be returned back to junior.
If Nikita Zadorov keeps laying out big hits, he may force the Buffalo Sabres to think twice before sending him back down to the OHL. The hit on Michael Latta was a beautiful site that got fans on their feet and that’s the kind of play the Sabres could use going forward.