from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Filip Zadina appears to have recovered from what the Detroit Red Wings called being “punched in the face.”
Their prize pick from the 2018 draft looks stronger and sounds more mature. Higher-ups in the organization, from general manager Steve Yzerman on down, have talked to Zadina about taking a long-term approach to establishing himself at the NHL level. When he showed glimpses of thriving at the AHL level — a six-game point streak with four goals and four assists coming on the heels of a four-game point streak — just as the Wings needed help to ameliorate the loss of their leading scorer, Anthony Mantha, it created an opportunity for Zadina to show how he has improved in his second year of pro hockey.
“His overall game has gotten better,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Tuesday. “Just his competitiveness on the puck and competitiveness to get the puck when he doesn’t have it. When you are a scorer in junior you have the puck on your stick lots, so when you get in pros sometimes you wait for the puck to get to your stick and it never gets there. You have to go get it enough times. He’s certainly gotten better in that area.
“I would also just say, though, he looks more confident. The way that shows is his quickness is a little bit better. He makes a little quicker decisions with the puck. He’s confident to try to make a play. I think he’s coming. I think he’s coming for sure.”