Zadina ready for fresh start with Sharks: ‘I just feel differently’

Zadina ready for fresh start with Sharks: 'I just feel differently'

Forward Filip Zadina is excited to begin anew with the San Jose Sharks after a disappointing five-season tenure as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

“Right now, I just feel differently, and I’m not even there yet,” Zadina said at the NHL European Player Media Tour, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “So, we’ll see. I just feel excited about that season coming up and the competition battling for a spot and stuff like that.”

Zadina signed a one-year contract worth $1.1 million with the Sharks on July 10 after he and the Red Wings mutually terminated the remaining two seasons of his contract.

The 2018 sixth overall pick requested a trade from Detroit and was subsequently placed on waivers when the team couldn’t find a deal. He forfeited $4.56 million in salary upon his contract’s termination.

“It just didn’t go the way that I guess we both wanted,” Zadina said of his time in Detroit. “Going as a kid into that rebuild situation didn’t help much as well. It just didn’t work out.

“I got hurt almost every single season. … It kept adding up each season, and last season was the worst one. I just said that I didn’t know what’s going to be the next season if I stay.”

Zadina played just 30 games last campaign due to a fractured fibula, recording seven points. The 23-year-old reached career-high totals in 2021-22 when he tallied 10 goals and 24 points.

Highly touted for his immense offensive skill set coming out of the QMJHL, Zadina’s looking forward to battling for minutes in San Jose to prove he can be a contributing presence in an NHL lineup.

“I said, ‘I would do anything for a chance,’ and (Sharks head coach David Quinn) said if I work hard and deserve that spot, I will get the chance I never got. So, I’m really excited about that.”

“I’ve just got to stay healthy,” Zadina added. “Once I stay healthy the whole season, for the future, it will come. I believe I’m a good player. I’m strong and fast. I can shoot the puck. I can pass the puck. I have the tools that I needed to have, and it’s just about staying healthy and play hockey and have fun.”

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