Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov has been diagnosed with a concussion one day after being on the receiving end of a devastating hit from Washington Capitals right winger Tom Wilson.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy announced the diagnosis Saturday afternoon.
The hit in question occurred 4:10 into the second period of Washington’s 4-2 win on Friday night. Zadorov was being pressured from behind by Capitals center Marcus Johansson as he skated with the puck around the Avalanche net. As he lost control of the puck, there to meet him was Wilson, who caught Zadorov in a vulnerable position and exploded up and through the hit. Zadorov looked dazed while on his back and needed help to get off the ice. He did not return to the game. Wilson was not penalized.
Zadorov, 20, is in his first season with the Avalanche organization after being acquired from Buffalo in a trade for Ryan O’Reilly last June. Zadorov was selected by Buffalo 16th overall in the 2013 NHL draft. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound blueliner has spent the majority of the season with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, recording 10 goals and 29 points in 52 games. He has two assists in 19 contests with the Avs.
Wilson, 22, was also selected 16th overall, but in 2012. He has seven goals, 22 points and 154 penalty minutes in 77 games this season. Wilson has never been suspended by the NHL, but has come close to crossing the line before.
Twice this season, both times in December, Wilson was in hot water for questionable hits. He was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell. He was also given a match penalty and game misconduct for a hit on Ottawa Senators center Curtis Lazar. Match penalties normally result in automatic suspensions, except the call was later rescinded by the NHL.
During last year's first-round series against the New York Islanders, Wilson received a charging penalty for a hit on then-Islanders defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky. Isles right winger Kyle Okposo called Wilson “an idiot” afterwards.
In December 2013, Wilson avoided a suspension from then-NHL senior vice-president Brendan Shanahan for boarding and charging for a hit on Philadelphia Flyers left winger Brayden Schenn.