By Justin Adams

DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Avalanche have resigned defensemen Nikita Zadorov to a one-year contract, the team announced Friday. Zadorov, 24, led the Avalanche in hits for the third straight season with 228 last season.

He became the first player in team history to lead the team in hits for three consecutive years.

SAN JOSE, CA – APRIL 28: Nikita Zadorov #16 of the Colorado Avalanche looks to clear the puck against the San Jose Sharks in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 28, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

“He brings a tough, physical presence to our blue line,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Joe Sakic. “He is an important part of our back end and we are excited to have him under contract for next season.”

Zadorov went on to rank first on the team with 59 hits in the playoffs, a total that led all NHL players through the second round. He also set a playoff career high with 11 hits in Game 3 against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Semifinals.

SAN JOSE, CA – MAY 04: Nikita Zadorov #16 of the Colorado Avalanche gets called for a roughing penalty for pulling Marcus Sorensen #20 of the San Jose Sharks the ice during the thirf period in Game Five of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on May 4, 2019 in San Jose, California. The Sharks won the game 2-1. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

That total was the third-most in a single game in Avalanche postseason history. Zadorov also tied for second among Avalanche defensemen with seven goals, matching his career high, and added seven assists to finish with 14 points.

The Avalanche start the 2019-20 season at home against the Calgary Flames on Oct. 3.

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