Nikita Zadorov Out For Season With Ankle Injury

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 09: Colorado Avalanche defenseman, Nikita Zadorov (16) skates with the puck during a regular season NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on February 9, 2017, at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche will be without the help of young defenseman Nikita Zadorov for the remainder of the season

Nikita Zadorov Out For Season With Ankle Injury

Nikita Zadorov of the Colorado Avalanche injured his ankle during Monday’s practice in a collision with Mikko Rantanen. The team announced that the injury will keep Zadorov out for the remainder of the season. Given the all-but-mathematical certainty that the Avalanche won’t make the playoffs, this is the end of Zadorov’s season.

This comes as a pretty tough blow for the Avalanche as Zadorov was currently an important part of the the Avs top four. Zadorov and defensive partner Francois Beauchemin have played the second most minutes on the Avalanche blueline this year, only behind first pairing Tyson Barrie and Fedor Tyutin.

In 56 games this year, Zadorov, 21, has just ten points and zero goals. This is his second full season in the NHL after coming over from the Buffalo Sabres at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft as an important piece in the Ryan O’Reilly trade. Last year Zadorov spent most of the season in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage.

The good news in Colorado is that defenseman Erik Johnson is nearing a return to action. Monday he was still in a non-contact jersey, but a full return should not be too far away. He should be expected to slot straight into the first pairing and should provide some much needed help for the ailing Avalanche.

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