Pavel Zacha

by Kevin Wickersham on June 12, 2017
Pavel Zacha - Photo Courtesy of HockeysFuture

Pavel Zacha, C/W

Shoots: L

Height: 6-3

Weight: 203

Born: 1997-04-06

Hometown: Brno, CZE

Drafted: 2015 by New Jersey Devils, 6th overall

 

 

 

 

Observations:

June 2017 – Zacha showed improvement as his streaky rookie year progressed. After no points in December and early January, he registered six goals and three assists in a 13-game span. He added a six-contest assist streak in mid-March and finished tied for third on the squad with 13 power play points. Altogether, the 2015 sixth-overall Entry Draft selection landed eight goals and 16 assists in 2016-17. With a likely influx of center prospects from the Entry Draft and graduating from the AHL and juniors, Zacha may shift to wing next year to alleviate pressure and develop chemistry with new and developing talent. Kevin Wickersham

 

March 2017 – In yet another down scoring season for the New Jersey Devils as a whole, Zacha has not produced at nearly his OHL Sarnia Sting levels with just eight goals and nine assists in 54 games this campaign. Slowed by a late-season concussion that held him out for four games as well as a December facial laceration, the immensely talented scoring forward needs to develop a bit further and be surrounded by more scoring talent before he can shine at the NHL level. Kevin Wickersham

December 2016 – Continuing his promising professional trajectory, the 19-year-old has stuck with the parent New Jersey squad since training camp, displaying glimpses of the effective two-way game his NHL future seems to hold and adjusting to the next level of competition. As the season has progressed, coach Hynes has moved Zacha with increasing frequency from center to left wing to bring the rookie along gradually, and repeatedly touts his work ethic and potential. Totaling two goals and five assists through 24 games (averaging 14:18 minutes per game and 1:46 on the power play) his offense hasn’t quite hit its stride. Owning a minus-11 rating, his defensive prowess can still develop, but with the impressive tools he possesses and displays at times, the future still looks bright for Zacha. Kevin Wickersham

June 2016Zacha scored six goals and seven assists in the OHL playoffs for the Sarnia Sting, who were eventually eliminated by the Soo Greyhounds in Game 7. He made his NHL debut in April, registering two assists against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Zacha also impressed in the AHL regular season and playoffs, earning high praise from Albany Devils head coach Rick Kowalski for his strong defensive game. Zacha has a heavy shot and a very good shot selection as he can score both with a one-timer and wrist shot. He has considerably improved defensively since being drafted and thus become a more complete player. Even though Zacha is just starting his professional career, he has a good chance to play in the NHL next season and provide immediate help offensively for the Devils. Marco Bombino

 

January 2016 – Pavel Zacha did not have the best performance at the World Juniors. He was injured in his first game against Finland and then managed to only score one assist in the rest of the tournament. Since coming back to Sarnia, Zacha has showed some chemistry with the newly acquired forward Travis Konecny. In the four games they have played together Zacha has scored two goals and five assists. Expect Zacha to produce some big numbers this year playing with another extremely talented player in Konecny. Justin Nobre 

 

November 2015 – After a quiet rookie camp and training camp with New Jersey, Zacha was sent back to Sarnia for more seasoning. Zacha played well to begin the season gaining praise from scouts about his poise with the puck and speed but he couldn’t find the score sheet as much as you would like from a 6th overall pick. As of late Zacha has been ramping up his offensive production including a five point night and his first career hat trick against the Niagra Ice Dogs. Zacha leads the Sting in goals with 12 and in points with 20, despite only playing 17 games this season. Zacha is now at above a point per game pace with 1.18. Looks for him to continue this production as he starts to become before comfortable playing in the OHL. Justin Nobre

 

June 2015 – The New Jersey Devils selected Pavel Zacha 6th overall at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Brendan Ross

 

February 2015 – It's been a trying rookie season for import Pavel Zacha as he struggles to stay in the lineup, due to suspensions, injury and World Junior participation. The big aggressive pivot returned to action February 20th after missing over a month of action with an elbow injury. In his third game back, Zacha picked up two goals against the London Knights (February 22nd), his first points since his hiatus. In a limited role with the Czech Republic at the World Juniors, Zacha scored one goal and added an assist while playing his high-energy physical game. His opportunity at the WJC wasn't ideal for showcasing his true skill set but he was able to display solid defensive pursuit. As the season winds down, Zacha will need to ramp up his play and scoring production to maintain a Top 10 draft slot. Brendan Ross

 

November 2014 – Pavel Zacha has been suspended indefinitely after a hit from behind. As the OHL decides on a suitable suspension, Zacha will remain out of the Sarnia Sting lineup. Zacha has seven goals and 17 points through 19 games but don’t be surprised to see those increase drastically when he returns from suspension. Brendan Ross

 

November 2014 – SCOUTING REPORT: Pavel Zacha is a player who owns the total pro package meeting advanced levels in the 4s’ – size, strength, skating and sense. A powerful and lightning quick player out of the gates, Zacha reaches top speed quickly and his lateral elusiveness is extremely impressive. In full north-south flight, Zacha uses quick lateral cuts to avoid hits and then explodes back to top speed almost instantaneously from a dead stop. Handling the puck, the young Czech forward uses his lengthy reach and wide skating base to shield off pressure from checking defenders. He operates extremely well in traffic using deceptive stick fakes (turns, glitches, etc.) to misdirect checkers, opening up time and space. His most underrated skill set is by far his shooting ability. Zacha’s snapshot features a lightning quick release that explodes off of his blade like few shooters his age group can. There have been times when Zacha has hit the offensive blueline at top speed and unleashed his snap shot and tracking it was impossible. It’s an impressive attribute.

 

Stylistic wise, Pavel Zacha shows a lot of similarities as former Sarnia Sting star Alex Galchenyuk. Both players are gifted skaters who possess a wide-base with lengthy and powerful strides. Both players are tremendous puck handlers who utilize subtle stick feints. Lastly, Galchenyuk and Zacha are equally as dangerous as playmakers and snipers. Brendan Ross

 

Fantasy Outlook: A-

Physically strong and quick footed, Zacha blends his physical gifts with a high-end hockey processor and crafty offensive skills. He projects as a top-line forward at the next level.

 

Footage:

Pavel Zacha Highlights (2014-15):

 

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