By @MichaelCaples –
Don’t panic, it’s purely a contract situation.
The Red Wings have returned Filip Zadina to Grand Rapids.
The Wings’ elite prospect has played in nine games for the Wings; had he played in 10, it would ‘burn a year’ on his NHL entry-level status and Detroit would have to use a protection spot for him in the upcoming expansion draft for Seattle.
Zadina, 19, recorded three points in the nine games, but he showed plenty of promise when playing top-six minutes. He averaged 15:23 worth of ice time in the call-up, and he scored his first goal at Colorado on March 5 and he recorded his first assist on March 9 in Tampa.
He returns to GR in time to help the Griffins with their playoff push; Zadina has 31 points in 45 games as an AHL rookie. The highest Red Wings draft pick to ever play for Grand Rapids, Zadina had put up points in all seven of his last AHL contests before being summoned to Detroit.
“We’ve been very happy with him,” Ken Holland said, via MLive.com. “He’s a much, much better player today than he was in October, which is important for a 19-year-old player to be showing steady improvement. He’s harder on the puck, he stops on pucks, winning more 50-50 puck battles, he’s better defensively.
“When you come into the National Hockey League, if you can be a superstar that’s probably not expected of you, but for 99 percent of the National Hockey League, those are things that are going to be important in order to develop as a player, get ice time, to be put in important situations. He’s got gifts, the ability to transport the puck, the ability to score, the hockey sense, the confidence.”