Chicago Blackhawks: 3 players who will be gone by the draft

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks, Nikita Zadorov
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

player. 94. . D. Chicago Blackhawks. Nikita Zadorov. 16

Nikita Zadorov could have played in his last Chicago Blackhawks game by the draft.

The Chicago Blackhawks have lost three trades involving Brandon Saad. The return they got for Saad when they sent him to the Columbus Blue Jackets wasn’t good enough. Then, they made the horrifying trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus to get Saad back. Even though Saad isn’t even close to Panarin, he is still a good player so the return from the Colorado Avalanche wasn’t good enough either. Nikita Zadarov was one of those players who came back to Chicago.

He is 26 years old and had a 3.2 million dollar cap hit in 2020-21 but is now an RFA. It is hard to peg how much he will make on his next contract but it doesn’t seem like the Blackhawks are a fit to be the team that pays it. They should trade him at the Expansion Draft or the Entry Draft to avoid having him on the roster for another year or two.

Zadorov is an okay defenseman but he doesn’t fit in with these Hawks. There were a lot of moments this season where he was just caught in no-mans land which is not how the Hawks need their defensemen to play in this system. The Saad trade didn’t work out again but it is time to accept their losses and move on for good.