‘Long-term project’ Zadorov healthy scratched for second straight game

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Last month, Nikita Zadorov was dubbed “top-four material on the Avs’ blue line” by the Denver Post.

How times have changed.

Tonight, Zadorov will be parked in the press box for the second straight game when the Avs host the Flames at the Pepsi Center, per head coach Patrick Roy.

What’s more, Roy took the interesting approach of explaining where Zadorov stands within the organization:

It’s a curious comment, to say the least.

Zadorov was one of the key pieces acquired in the Ryan O'Reilly trade with Buffalo. He’s a 6-foot-5, 220-pound specimen with pedigree, having been selected 16th overall in 2013.

While there were bumps in the road during his time as a Sabre — like his suspension for returning to the club late after last year’s All-Star break — there was also promise.

Zadorov scored 15 points in 60 games for Buffalo last season and, as the Post mentioned, looked to be a fixture for Colorado in the early parts of the year, getting over 21 minutes of ice time in two of the first three games.

He also played all 10 games to start the season, making Roy’s “long-term project” line ring a little hollow.

With Zadorov out, the Avs will roll tonight with a defensive unit comprised of Erik Johnson, Francois Beauchemin, Tyson Barrie, Nick Holden, Brad Stuart and Brandon Gormley, who’ll replace Nate Guenin.