Connect with us

Boston Bruins

Nikita Zadorov Joins Bruins Seeking Consistency And A Championship

Published

on

nikita-zadorov-boston-bruins

BRIGHTON, MA–Even by NHL standards, Nikita Zadorov is a well-traveled man. 

From Buffalo to Colorado, Chicago to Calgary and then on to Vancouver, the defenseman has added a new element to his game everywhere he has played in his 11-year career.

Now, after signing a six-year, $30 million contract with the Boston Bruins last week, the 29-year-old Zadorov is seeking two things that have eluded him thus far: consistency and a championship. 

“The last two years have been about trying to find the right fit for me to win a championship,” said Zadorov during his first visit to Warrior Ice Arena, the Bruins’ practice facility, on Monday. “I signed here because I want my chance to win a championship. I’m really invested in what I do, and I’m putting all my heart in it. I’m here for six years, and I will put my heart into being a Bruin and trying to win the Stanley Cup here. That for sure helps, and it kind of settles me down and helps me to focus better.”

Standing a massive six-foot-six and 248 pounds, Zadorov has always possessed the physical traits necessary to get by in the league. It’s the reason Buffalo selected him as a highly-regarded prospect in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and why he’s been traded for the likes of Ryan O’Reilly and Brandon Saad. However, it took him some time to refine his game after learning that one needs more than just size and physicality to excel at the NHL level. 

“It’s experience and maturity,” Zadorov said. “When I was younger, I would go for hits when I didn’t need to. It’s definitely a learning point for me. You want to get physical, but consistency is the most important thing for a defenseman. It took me some time to figure some stuff out on the ice. You don’t want to be a high-risk player. You want to be consistent by preparing yourself. I’m trying to find this sweet spot in the middle.” 

While playing with a physical edge remains part of Zadorov’s game, he’s become a more complete player over the years. Along the way, he’s learned from a number of different coaches, players and executives, taking bits and pieces from each. 

“I like to learn new stuff, I like to listen to new people and like to adjust as well,” said Zadorov. “It’s normal for new players to learn something every day with the new teammates and all the ways we can develop chemistry on the ice. If you’re mentally and physically prepared, it’s going to help you.”

The long journey has shaped Zadorov into the player he is today, and his decision in free agency reflects that. In Boston, Zadorov sees himself. 

“I feel like it fits my mentality: win or nothing,” Zadorov said. “This city is so culturally engaged in sports. All four teams here are always winning and competing for championships, and fans expect you to win every year. I like that pressure, and I think it drives me.” 

FOLLOW ANDREW FANTUCCHIO ON 𝕏: @A_FANTUCCHIO

FOLLOW BOSTON HOCKEY NOW ON 𝕏 AND FACEBOOK

Copyright ©2023 National Hockey Now and Boston Hockey Now. Not affiliated with the Boston Bruins or the NHL.