2013 NHL Draft: Buffalo Sabres Select Nikita Zadorov With The 16th Pick

The Sabres go back-to-back big blueliners by taking the hard-hitting Nikita Zadorov from the OHL's London Knights with pick 16.

With the 16th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres have selected defenseman Nikita Zadorov from the London Knights in the OHL.

Zadorov is very similar to #8 pick Rasmus Ristolainen in many ways. He's bigger, standing 6'5'' and weighing 228lbs, and is much nastier, being called the hardest hitter in the entire draft by TSN. He's a got a very good left-handed shot, and comes from the WHL's London Knights, a team known for cranking out NHL-ready defensemen.

He may not be quite as polished as Ristolainen is, but he certainly has potential to be a big contributor to the Sabres very soon. Check out his highlight video below.

Here's what Hockey's Future says:

Zadorov is the not-so-gentle giant on the Knights’ blueline. He’s a personable kid off the ice, but certainly one that you wouldn’t want to mess with on it. Zadorov had an up-and-down year with the Knights this season as he seemed to be searching for an identity.

At 6’5 and over 230 pounds, the Moscow-born Zadorov has the physicality to dominate. And, at times, his zeal to lay out his opponents with the big hit can take him out of the play. But as the year progressed, Zadorov learned to reign in his physicality and became a much more effective stay-at-home blueliner.

He has a solid shot, but doesn’t project as a number-one blueliner. However, he should fit very nicely on a top pairing as the defensively responsible, crease-clearer for whom so many teams are looking.