Buffalo Sabres 2013 first rounder Nikita Zadorov has only practiced with the big club as the team’s brass tries to figure out where the hulking defenseman plays this season.
Ideally, Zadorov would play in the American Hockey League, with the Rochester Americans, but because of his junior eligibility, it’s not an option.
The Sabres could loan him to a team in Russia, but as The Buffalo News’ John Vogl points out, they would have little control over the 19-year-old’s development.
Buffalo feels at 6-foot-5, 238 pounds Zadorov is too big for the junior game and are reluctant to send him back to the London Knights.
“The player just wants to play,” Zadorov’s agent, Rolland Hedges, said. “It’s up to Buffalo how they’re going to deal with that.”
One option could be to have the Russian stick with the big club. Zadorov appeared in seven games for the Sabres last season scoring a goal to go along with a minus-4 rating.
“I can’t answer that question straight up, but we’re trying to do our best with the situation,” coach Ted Nolan said. “We’re going to keep working at him, get his conditioning a little better. He’s another promising young prospect that we have to make sure we do the best for him.”
Zadorov is expected to be a healthy scratch once again tonight when the Sabres host the Florida Panthers.