Just one year removed from being this sixth overall draft pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, it seems as though the New Jersey Devils are looking to make Pavel Zacha a mainstay on their roster next season.
According to Andrew Gross of NorthJersey.com, Devils’ GM Ray Shero says the 19-year-old will have an opportunity to crack the team’s lineup heading into the 2016-17 season.
“Absolutely, I’m looking forward to seeing him,” said Shero to Gross. “He’s been battling a hip pointer and we’ll see how that impacts him at development camp, but he’ll be ready for training camp. Yeah, there’s room for him. There’s always room for good players.”
Zacha played one game with New Jersey last season recording two assists and a plus-four rating. He also saw time with their American Hockey League affiliate – the Albany Devils – notching three points (1g-2a) in three games.
The majority of his season was spent with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League where he set career highs in goals (28), assists (36), points (64) and penalty minutes (97). In just his second year with the Sting, he’s amassed 98 points (44g-54a) in 88 regular season games.
In seven playoff games last season with the Sting, he collected 13 points (6g-7a) in seven games to go along with three points (1g-2a) in five playoff games with the AHL’s Devils.
Zacha is one of 34 players attending the Devils’ development camp this summer and stands a good chance of locking up a spot for the upcoming season.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.