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Zadina Still Figuring Out Life As A Pro

September 7, 2019, 10:25 PM ET [7 Comments]
Bob Duff
Detroit Red Wings Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
As Filip Zadina begins his sophomore campaign as a pro, it’s evident that his learning curve remains steep.

Ben Simon, who coached Zadina with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins and is also coaching him and the rest of Detroit’s top prospects during the NHL Rookie Tournament in Traverse City, Mich. this week, believes that Zadina still needs time to figure out some stuff about his game.

“When Z is playing a simple hockey game and he’s not getting frustrated, he’s an effective player,” Simon told Detroitredwings.com. “He just has to make sure that he’s playing a mature game on a consistent basis.

“He has all the talent in the world. He has a tremendous work ethic. He just has to make sure that he’s channeling it in the right direction.”

Like many young players, Zadina tends to over think the game at times. He’s also passing up shooting opportunities to feed the puck to teammates, another common trait of younger players. But the Wings didn’t draft the goal-scoring right-winger sixth overall in 2018 for him to be unselfish with the puck.

“He’s got a heck of a shot,” Simon said. “Our message to him is to shoot the puck when he can. Sometimes he gets in the mode of maybe thinking pass too much. He’s gotta shoot the puck.

“He’s a natural goal scorer. But he can also pass the puck, so we don’t want to limit him or make him a one-dimensional player. He’s a smart enough player to figure out when to make plays. We give him a little bit of structure. We let him be creative. We’re trying to make him grow as a player.”

Larsson Ailing
One player who’s not been able to show his wares so far during the tournament is goaltender Filip Larsson. Signed after a spectacular freshman NCAA season with the Denver Pioneers, Larsson is ticketed for AHL Grand Rapids.

Larsson’s 2018-19 campaign was delayed by a groin injury. The Wings have opted to shut him down for a bit to avoid risking a recurrence of the ailment.

“I had groin issues year,” Larsson explained. “I went pretty hard this summer, the last three weeks for almost two hours a day. It got a little bit sore.

“So, because of what happened last year, I’m taking it easy so nothing happens again. But as you can see out there, I can go 100 percent so it’s nothing big. We’re just taking it easy.”

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