Red Hot Filip Zadina could be a piece the San Jose sharks want to have long-term

Mar 5, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Filip Zadina (18) scores a goal
Mar 5, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Filip Zadina (18) scores a goal / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The suddenly red hot Filip Zadina is starting to show why the Sharks took a chance on the winger in free agency, Zadina's set a new career high in goals with the team in teal as he's hit 12 on the year, and the Czech winger is repaying the faith placed in him by Mike Grier and company when they decided that the gamble on the 23-year-old winger was worth it. The former sixth overall pick has shown flashes of the immense talent he possesses.

With a two goal night in Philadelphia, Zadina has started to step into a larger role in San Jose. His career high in goals was set this year when he scored his 11th and 12th in Philly. He's got 22 points on the season, which is just two shy of his career high. An uptick in production for a team that has seen extensive dry spells up front is appreciated, but Zadina needs to prove that he is extensively ready for a larger role before his chances of staying in the NHL disappear entirely.

As he completes his one-year deal in the Bay Area worth $1.1 million against the salary cap, Zadina's fighting for a spot in the top-six next year if he wants it. He may choose to sign elsewhere, but the last month or so, Zadina's started to look like a top six forward. He needs the production to catch up. He's young enough to be in San Jose through a rebuild if he wants to sign here, and the club could use someone with his offensive skillset.

At 6'0, 200 lbs, he's not the biggest player, but he's got the chance to fill a big role in San Jose. If the Sharks are able to work some magic and have this reclamation project be a compelete success, the benefits of having the Czech winger around for a while could be huge. But Zadina needs to have an extended purple patch and prove that this is what he is instead of the player that was rarely heard from during the first three quarters of the season.