In this lost 2016-17 campaign, the Colorado Avalanche took another hit on Monday; losing the heavy-hitting Nikita Zadorov for the season to a fractured ankle.
Zadorov was injured in a collision with teammate Mikko Rantanen on Monday, as the two got tangled up with each other during a practice drill. Zadorov had to be assisted off the ice.
His second season with the Avalanche after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in the Ryan O’Reilly deal, Zadorov led the team in hits with 153. The 21-year-old Russian registered 10 assists, 73 penalty minutes and was minus-20 in 56 games this season.
The Avalanche may get a reinforcement for their blueline soon. Erik Johnson participated in Monday’s practice, albeit whilst donning a non-contact jersey . He has been out since Dec. 6 with a broken leg.
“It’s cool seeing EJ out there again. We lose him, we were a .500 team. We were a playoff bubble team, especially in the West this year,” Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said. “So we lose him and then we kind of fall off. That’s how important he is to our team.”