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Despite Recent Injury, Zadina Expected To Play In World Juniors

A strong performance could hasten his NHL arrival.

December 18, 2018 - 5:42 pm

Filip Zadina is good to go for the World Junior Championship. Despite leaving Saturday's game in Grand Rapids with a leg injury, Zadina is expected to suit up for the Czech Republic team, according to the Free Press.  

The tournament, featuring the best U-20 players in the world, begins the day after Christmas and concludes Jan. 5. It has sometimes served as a launching pad for top prospects to jump from the AHL to the NHL. 

The sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft, Zadina has eight goals and 17 points in 26 games this season for the Griffins. He was forced out of action on Saturday with an injury to his groin/hamstring, but the issue proved to be minor, according to reports. 

The Red Wings agreed earlier this month to release Zadina from the Griffins so that he can represent the Czechs. He made a big name for himself at last year's World Juniors, netting seven goals in seven games. 

A similar performance this year could hasten his arrival in Detroit. 

"I think it puts him in a situation where he can be a real go-to guy, and hopefully be in a position where he can have the puck a ton and have a lot of offensive success," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told reporters on Tuesday, via the Free Press.

“I think any time you transfer into pro, it’s hard. I don’t care if it’s the American League or the NHL, it’s hard. So to be at a level where he is more even with his peers in terms of age, if anything he’d be in the upper echelon of that at this point.”