Colorado Avalanche: Analyzing Nikita Zadorov’s Contract Worth

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov is finally showing the type of player that he will become on the blueline for the Avs, and it’s exciting.

The Colorado Avalanche may finally have a defenseman who can hit and protect his own zone, and the future looks bright.

This article is a tribute to the effort that Zadorov showed on Saturday afternoon against the Jets because how could he not be commemorated for that effort?

However, it’s also a look at the type of defensemen he is becoming for the Avs — a stay-at-home defenseman who can skate and lay the body. And seeing as the Avs need that type of defenseman on their roster, it’s time to figure out what kind of contract he’s earned.

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Zads was absolutely leveling the Winnipeg Jets in Saturday’s game, and Avs’ fans should be excited about having him on the blueline for many years to come, and it might be time for them to make that commitment to him.

Zadorov’s entry level contract will be over at the end of this season, and it’s time to figure out what kind of money he could be looking at.

What Kind of Contract Has Zadorov Earned?

The thing is, Zads has only shown glimpses of his potential so far. However, if Saturday’s game is any inclination as to what he can become when he’s playing consistently, then they money is there.

So, the Avs have a tough decision to make this summer. Do they give Zadorov a bridge contract or do they lock him long term?

Obviously, the goal is to lock someone up long term at a reasonable price. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to judge what type of player an individual will be when they’ve reached their full potential.

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The Avs could probably sign Zadorov to a reasonable contract if it’s a bridge deal, and maybe that’s the direction they should go.

However, if they’re looking to lock him up long term, the money would probably be much more of a commitment, and hope as to what he will develop into at his full potential.

If it’s my money, I’m locking Zadorov up for six years at 4 million. However, is he likely to take that deal? Does Zadorov deserve more money? Less?

Figuring Out What Zadorov Deserves

Recently, a bunch of young 20-23 year old defensemen have been signed to long term contracts.

Dougie Hamilton recently signed a deal worth 5.75 million for six years, when he was 21. Rasmus Ristolainen signed a contract worth 5.4 million over six years at the age of 21.

Seth Jones signed a contract worth 5.4 million over the course of six years as well at the age of 21. Morgan Rielly signed a contract worth 5 million over six years at the age of 21 as well.

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Oscar Klefbom just signed a contract worth 4.167 million over the course of seven years at the age of 22. Olli Maata just signed a contract worth 4.083 million over the course of six years at the age of 21. The list goes on folks…*

The problem is, all of those defensemen have shown more upside than Zadorov. However, Zadorov is a different defenseman than all the names mentioned except for maybe Klefbom, and Jones.

He probably doesn’t possess the same offensive upside as Ristolainen, Rielly, Maata and Hamilton. Nonetheless, he is on pace for 17 points this season, which would be a career high.

And, he has really started to pick up his play as of late. I mean, how could you not want this kind of aggressiveness on your team in the top four defensive pairings:

Absolute sleep time both times. The Avs need that kind of presence in their top four, and Zadorov is going to earn some money because of it.

* All stats taken from Spotrac.com

Conclusion

Nikita Zadorov probably hasn’t earned a 4 million dollar contract yet, but he’s well on his way.

I believe that his play over the rest of the season is ultimately going to determine what type of money he gets this summer, but the Avs would do well to lock him up long term.

Of course, the Avs would be taking a risk locking him up long term at that price because he hasn’t proven that he deserves it yet. Nonetheless, that price could end up being a steal down the line.

It’s in the best interest of the Avs to skip the bridge deal. Zadorov is the type of talent that can’t be relocated to a bridge deal.

He’ll light it up over the course of that deal, and drive the price up for his long term deal. If the Avs are smart they will avoid that kind of decision down the line by giving Zads a deal at four million this summer

He’d instantly become one of the highest paid defensemen on the team, but paying him that money is worth it. Anyway, what do ‘ye faithful Avs fans think about the type of contract Zadorov should get this summer?

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