Sergei Belsky - USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks acquire defenceman Nikita Zadorov from Calgary Flames for draft picks

The Vancouver Canucks have made yet another trade, acquiring left-shot defenceman Nikita Zadorov from the Calgary Flames for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in 2026.

Zadorov requested a trade from the Flames through his often outspoken agent, Dan Milstein, almost three weeks ago, and today, general manager Craig Conroy obliged him. The Canucks were immediately included among the most interested suitors, alongside the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, and Dallas Stars, according to Kevin Weekes.

The Russian defenceman is in the final season of a two-year, $7.5-million deal that carries a $3.75-million cap charge to the end of this season, at which point he will become an unrestricted free agent. In 21 games with the Flames this season, Zadorov has six points in 21 games while averaging 18:24 a night in all-situations play.

It will be interesting to see how the Canucks integrate Zadorov into their lineup. With Carson Soucy on IR, they have an additional opening on their left side, but one of the feathers in Zadorov's cap is his ability to play either without issue. Of course, the way the Canucks have used Ian Cole this season suggests head coach Rick Tocchet isn't especially keen on playing his blueliners on their off-side.

Whatever the case, the Canucks have options, and for a team with legitimate playoff aspirations, his speed and physicality will be a welcomed addition to their defence corps.

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NHL Calgary Flames Vancouver Canucks NHL Nikita Zadorov
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