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Chicago Blackhawks: 3 keys to success for Nikita Zadorov

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Chicago Blackhawks, Nikita Zadorov Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks, Nikita Zadorov Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks, Brandon Saad, Nikita Zadorov
Chicago Blackhawks, Brandon Saad, Nikita Zadorov Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Key 1: Fulfill his role

No matter what critics say, everyone agrees that Zadorov is a big physical player. This is almost certainly why he was brought in. After seeing Chicago struggle a bit against Vegas, it was probably only a matter of time before someone like Zadorov was acquired. I guess we didn’t have to wait very long for it to happen.

Until the season actually starts, it’s hard to know how Zadorov will be deployed, but there are limited options with his skill set. He doesn’t put up much offense, and he’s not known for much beyond his physical play. I’d expect to see Zadorov on the ice almost every time Chicago wants to throw smaller, and less-experienced players out against an opposing team. It’s hard to fathom what else he’s expected to do but protect his teammates.

Boqvist projects to be an offensive dynamo and Zadorov could actually be a good partner for him. With Zadorov hanging back to cover things defensively, Boqvist could join a rush and help get the puck on the net. All Zadorov has to do is make sure that Boqvist is free to play his game. The Chicago Tribune even said as much in a recent story.

This really shouldn’t be an issue for him, and it’s likely that when the team is discussing strategy, Zadorov is going to be encouraged to hang back, block shots, keep people out the crease, and so on. As long as he does these things competently, he’ll have a good season and will be able to justify his place in the line-up. This is the single most important thing for Zadorov.

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