Grading Bruins' Signings of Lindholm and Zadorov

Monday's NHL free-agent frenzy started off with a bang.
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Nikita Zadorov

Defenseman wasn't a top area of need for Boston coming into the offseason, but Bruins fans should warm up nicely to the 6'6", 250-pound d-man. Zadorov, known for his bone-crunching hits, will have opposing players keeping their heads up at all times.

Zadorov and Boston agreed to a six-year, $30 million deal ($5 million AAV) on Monday. The former 16th overall pick has 700 NHL games under his belt across five teams.

Zadorov is a left-shot defenseman who will most likely pair up with Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo on the blue line. The top four of McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, and Zadorov give Boston one of the premier d-corps in the league. Some combination of Parker Wotherspoon, Mason Lohrei, or Andrew Peeke will likely comprise the bottom pairing.

Promising youngster Mason Lohrei had a strong playoff playing alongside McAvoy, while Parker Wotherspoon and Andrew Peeke's blue-collar, stay-at-home defensive style of play was a highly compatible match. It will be interesting to see how the defensive pairings shake out this season.

The $5 million AAV for Zadorov is reasonable for a top-four defenseman. But if there is any second-guessing on this deal, it will be to wonder if the money could have been better spent on a forward, a much greater area of need this offseason.

Grade: B+

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