Nick Goss

Bruins, Nikita Zadorov agree to six-year contract in free agency

The former Canucks defenseman will bring toughness to Boston's blue line.

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The Boston Bruins have added a top-four defenseman to their blue line on Day 1 of NHL free agency by agreeing to a six-year, $30 million contract with Nikita Zadorov, per multiple reports.

The contract has a salary cap hit of $5 million, per TSN's Darren Dreger. The B's also reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $54.25 million deal with free agent center Elias Lindholm on Monday.

A left-shot defenseman was one of the Bruins' needs entering free agency, and they've addressed it with the addition of Zadorov. The 28-year-old blueliner tallied 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 75 games between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks last season. The Canucks acquired him from the Flames before the trade deadline in March.

The Russian defenseman was one of Vancouver's best players during its 2024 playoff run, which lasted two rounds. He tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) and played strong defense in 13 postseason games for the Canucks.

Zadorov isn't going to put up eye-popping offensive stats. What he'll consistently bring to the ice is toughness, defense and penalty killing. He's a physically imposing player at 6-foot-6 and 248 pounds. He throws his weight around in the corners and in front of the net.

In fact, he'll give the Bruins a lot of the same skills and attributes that Derek Forbort did. But Zadorov is three years younger than Forbort and has more offensive upside. He's also more durable than Forbort, who missed a lot of games due to injuries over the last two years.

The Bruins now have Zadorov, Hampus Lindholm, Mason Lohrei and Parker Wotherspoon on the left side of their blue line.

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