There are seemingly some rumors leaking out of training camp in Detroit and unfortunately for the Red Wings and their fans those rumors do not sound promising for the future of the franchise.
According to a report from National Hockey League analyst Brian Wilde of Global TV he is now hearing that Detroit Red Wings first round draft pick Filip Zadina has not been shining thus far in training camp with the Red Wings. This would of course be a concern with any player you selected in the first round but it becomes even more so when it's a player that was selected as early on in the draft as Zadina was. The Red Wings used the 6th overall pick in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft on Zadina after a number of teams surprised fans by passing on the highly ranked winger, and they did so in spite of the fact that the expectation was that they would draft on the blue line in the first round.
At the time general manager Ken Holland received a great deal of praise from both pundits and fans alike for moving away from his plan and selecting the most talented player left on the board, but obviously if that pick were to backfire it would paint the decision in a very different light. The Red Wings are still starved for talent on the blue line and the decision to selecton Zadina when defensive players like Evan Bouchard were still available, especially when you consider one NHL scout believes Bouchard will make the NHL as an 18 year old defenseman, may come back to bite him.
Now of course it's still very early in Zadina's journey as a member of the Red Wings, something that Wilde himself was quick to point out, and there is plenty of time for him to continue to develop into the player the Red Wings believe he can be, but this is not the first major red flag that has popped up where Zadina is concerned. Zadina was projected to go 2nd overall in a large number of mock drafts prior to the draft itself but in spite of all the hype behind him several NHL organizations opted to pass on him.
Although teams passing on Zadina was a red flag all on it's own that may have in fact been caused by another cause for concern regarding Zadina. By all accounts Zadina underwhelmed during the NHL rookie combine and although it's impossible to tell how much that played a factor in him dropping down the draft board, it was unquestionably a factor. Now there is talk of an underwhelming performance in training camp and it's hard not to see a consistent pattern emerging early on in the young career of this extremely talented young man.
The situation is likely made even worse due to just how much hype there has been surrounding Zadina and how much the brash young man has done to hype himself up. Zadina made headlines when he said that he was "going to fill their nets with pucks," in reference to the teams that passed on him, but he will need to show a lot more than he has thus far if he does indeed intend to do that.
For Holland though any perceived failure from Zadina, especially if the defensemen he passed on continue to flourish, could be enough to end his tenure with the Red Wings after some questionable moves from the once revered general manager in the past several years.