Pavel Zacha Inks Deal With Devils

The Devils’ first pick in this year’s Entry Draft, sixth overall, has signed his name to a contract with the team. The new deal was announced by Executive Vice President and General Manager, Ray Shero on August 11.

The contract is a three-year entry level agreement worth $925,000 per year.

The 18-year old native of Brno, Czech Republic will get to come to training camp to vie for a spot on the Devils’ roster.

Pavel Zacha, according to the press release on the Devils website, has been mentored by former NHL player Petr Nedved, known best for his time with Vancouver and the Rangers. Zacha played for a team in Czech Republic’s top league based in Nedved’s hometown, Liberec. The Devils’ press release mentioned that Nedved helped Zacha transition to North America.

And transition to the North American game he did. With the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League last season, the press release notes that he notched almost a point-per-game. He had 16 goals, 18 assists for 34 points and 56 penalty minutes. He played in only 37 games with Sarnia. Despite his lack of appearances, he had six power play goals (good for second on the team) and finished tied for fourth on the team in goals.

He had a six-game point scoring streak from October 10-24, 2014 which saw him notch five goals and four assists for nine points. Included in this span was a three point game against the Windsor Spitfires on October 11. In the playoffs, he put up two goals, one assist for three points and ten penalty minutes in five games. All of this information comes from the Devils website.

For his efforts, Zacha would be named to the First All-Rookie Team in the OHL, as he was tenth overall in scoring for rookies in the league in 2014-15. This showing proved that, with Nedved helping him, he could easily transition to the North American game, which is more physical in a smaller rink than the European game. But the big forward has shown he can hang with the big boys in North America. Hopefully for the Devils, this translates well to the NHL level and he is able to adjust to playing with the elite players of the game.

The 6-foot 3-inch, 210 pound Zacha has also played in the last two World Junior Championships for Czech Republic. He tallied two points in five games for the Czechs in 2015.

Now he has signed his first NHL deal and his showing at training camp will dictate where he begins the season. A good showing could land him a spot on the Devils’ roster. However, the team most definitely does not want to rush things. We will find out what the Devils intentions are come training camp in September.

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