Hurricanes' Liles on Avalanche's Zadorov: 'He's got a lot of really good tools'

Kevin Hoffman / USA Today

Though he no longer suits up for the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman John-Michael Liles admits his old club has something special in defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

Liles, who spent seven seasons with the Avalanche, has been skating this offseason in Denver with Zadorov and a handful of other NHLers and believes the 20-year-old has the makings of a reliable defender.

"He's a big kid, obviously very skilled, skates well," Liles told Mike Chambers of The Denver Post. "It will be interesting to see because at 20 years old it can be a daunting task to jump in when expectations are high. It's never easy playing D in this league.

"You can't teach size, that's for sure, and obviously you can see he's got a lot of really good tools."

Zadorov was acquired by the Avalanche in the deal that saw forward Ryan O'Reilly shipped to the Buffalo Sabres and is expected to fill in on the team's second defense pairing with Tyson Barrie.

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Hurricanes' Liles on Avalanche's Zadorov: 'He's got a lot of really good tools'
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