Just hours before the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets were set to face off in the second to last pre season game of 2013 – Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier has announced that the Buffalo Sabres and 2013 first round draft pick Nikita Zadorov have agreed on a three year entry level deal.
GM Darcy Regier has this to say about Zadorov:
“Watching Nikita throughout training camp and the preseason has solidified our opinion that he will be a good, young hockey player for our organization going forward, he has exceptional presence on the ice and we look forward to seeing him continue to develop as a player.”
While the contract doesn’t guarantee Zadorov a full time roster spot with the Buffalo Sabres – it does allow the team to at least keep the young defenseman up for a ten game trial. If the Buffalo Sabres return Zadorov prior to their game on Saturday October 19th against the Colorado Avalanche – then they will not burn the first year of his entry level deal.
Last year the Buffalo Sabres mismanaged the contract of former first round draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko – so it is likely that Zadorov will be returned to his junior club – unless he over excels and is playing regular minutes with the Buffalo Sabres.
Zadorov can either stay with the Buffalo Sabres for the season, or he will have to be demoted to the London Knights of the OHL. If he plays in nine games for the Buffalo Sabres – the team does not lose a year of the contract.
Buffalo faces off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7PM tonight, the game being televised on MSG.