According to a report on NHL.com by Mike G. Morreale, Pavel Zacha is fully recovered from his hip pointer suffered in the second round last year’s AHL Calder Cup Playoffs with the Albany Devils and he is ready for rookie camp, beginning on September 15.
Zacha, who was invited to a Rookie Showcase event in Toronto, put on by the NHLPA and Upper Deck, the official trading card of the NHL and NHLPA. Upper Deck was able to get photos of the young players in their NHL uniforms and had them autograph cards and memorabilia for future use. Zacha was one of “27 NHL prospects and rookies” invited.
The event took place over the weekend and on Monday; players were able to talk to the media. Zacha told Morreale that he is fully recovered from the hip pointer that kept him out of development camp this past July.
He told Morreale that he went back to the Czech Republic after development camp “and took three or four days off and started working out again and then began going on the ice five times a week and it’s been great.” He said that he is ready for rookie camp and would be leaving for New Jersey from the event in Toronto, where he would be “working out for 14 days before camp. My health is good.”
He also told Morreale that playing in his first NHL game back in April for the Devils was eye-opening in terms of how to prepare. “I never saw NHL players getting ready before practice, stretching and working out. That opened my eyes to watching the pros. This injury happened because I didn’t stretch that area of my body. My strength coaches have stressed to me what I need to do and I’m confident going through the season because I know what to do in getting ready for practices and games to avoid these injuries in the future.”
It is fascinating to see that someone who has played at such a high level as Pavel Zacha has can still learn such simple things from NHLers like how to prepare for games and practices. Now that he is working with his strength coaches and knows how to get ready, he should be healthier going into this year’s rookie camp and beyond as he tries to make the New Jersey opening night roster.