Evgenii Dadonov might be one of the more intriguing names on the free-agent market. He’s 31 years old but has shown a lot of promise in the past three years.
Dadonov spent a number of the season in Russia, where he matured and found his game. In the past three seasons with the Florida Panthers, he has put up some impressive numbers. Three straight seasons of at least 20 goals, and in all three seasons, he has had at least 47 points, with his lowest total coming during the shortened season.
Now that his three years in Florida are up, it is time for him to look for a new home or extend his stay in the sunshine state. Dadonov may not seem like a sexy target this offseason, but whatever team signs him will love the guy they get.
There are three teams that seem like good fits for Dadonov.
New Jersey Devils
Honestly, New Jersey is the team that makes the most sense for Dadonov. They have the cap space; they need a top-six guy on the right side. And Dadonov will score you 20 goals a year for the next few years. That is someone that a New Jersey team needs and Devils fans would love to have. Plus, you can pair him with fellow Russian Nikita Gusev. If New Jersey passes on Dadonov, they better have a different trick up their sleeve.
Let’s get a little weird here. What has been the biggest issue for the Bruins the past number of years? The right-wing. Well, Boston, Look no further than Dadonov. The Russian winger could be the answer that this team has been looking for. He can score, he can make plays, he can play physical. What more could you want? No, he’s not a sexy name. But throw the “B” on his chest and watch him produce. It’s what he does, and he does it well.
Why not bring him back? The team knows what he can do; they know what he is capable of. Yes, it will be a slight pay increase, but goddam the man has earned it. The Panthers are a team that is hoping to contend after unloading the money truck for Bobrovsky. Letting Dadonov walk will hurt the offensive production of the Panthers. Are there other guys in that system that can step in and be consistent 20 goal scorers. Potentially, but how likely is it that they do it right away. The Panthers know their situation, and keeping Dadonov solves some of their problems.