Flames Insider Links Toronto Prospect To Zadorov Trade

The Calgary Flames continue to be stingy with Nikita Zadorov's minutes, the team continues to struggle, and clubs around the NHL continue to sniff around about a trade for the disgruntled defenseman who wants out. 

A few teams have risen to the top of the potential destinations for Zadorov, but it all seems to keep coming back to Toronto. After all, it was the Leafs themselves who recruited the hulking D-man right in the middle of their game last Friday.

The latest rumor out of Calgary has linked the 6'6" behemoth blueliner to a possible trade featuring a Leafs' farmhand, the Toronto Marlies' Nick Abruzzese. 

Sportsnet hockey insider Eric Francis points to the fact that Abruzzese and Flames' No. 1 pick in the 2021 Draft Matt Coronato were extremely productive teammates while playing NCAA hockey together at Harvard. 

Abruzzese is an excellent playmaker, and helped Coronato put up some big-time goal-scoring numbers in college, as the current Flames' rookie notched 18 goals and 36 points in 34 games in their season together. The Marlies forward had 24 assists in 28 games that year, and has continued to put up big assist numbers in the AHL the past season+ in Toronto. 

Abruzzese, a 4th-round pick by the Leafs in 2019, was in fact just named the AHL's Player of the Week after compiling two goals and five assists in 3 games.

There will no doubt be more rumors about potential Zadorov deals going forward, but this one does seem to make some sense.

Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports