Former top prospect Filip Zadina, Red Wings 'mutually' terminate contract in rare move

Zadina, a once highly-touted prospect who went sixth overall to Detroit in 2018, is foregoing millions in salary in hopes of finding a fresh start elsewhere.

Filip Zadina’s tenure with the Detroit Red Wings has officially come to an end.

The 23-year-old forward, who already cleared waivers earlier this week, was placed on unconditional waivers for purposes of "mutual contract termination" on Thursday. He had two seasons remaining on the three-year, $5.475-million contract he signed last offseason.

By terminating his contract, Detroit eliminates Zadina’s $1.825 million cap hit in 2023-24 and 2024-25. As for the player, he forfeits $4.56 million in salary in a somewhat risky move, but now enters the open market as an unrestricted free agent in hopes of finding a fresh start.

TSN’s Chris Johnston also reports that Zadina already has a few teams looking to acquire his services, meaning the sixth overall selection from 2018 probably won’t be a free agent for very long.

The left-handed winger debuted with the Red Wings in 2018-19, scoring one goal and three points in nine games as a rookie. He went on to play 190 contests over five seasons but struggled to produce consistently, posting just 28 goals and 68 points.

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman revealed on Monday that Zadina’s camp asked for a trade a few weeks ago. Nothing ever materialized, though, leading the club to place him on waivers.

Filip Zadina's time with the Red Wings is over. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Filip Zadina's time with the Red Wings is over. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Zadina split last season between the NHL and AHL, tallying just three goals and seven points in 30 games with the Red Wings while averaging a career-low 13:06 per night. He also played a pair of games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, registering a single goal.

The former top prospect now seeks a fresh start elsewhere following his unconventional exit from the Red Wings organization.