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6th Overall pick: Pavel Zacha


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Not a huge fan of the pick but I'll live. My board was Barzal, Rantanen, Zacha, Meier, Crouse, a defenseman - so I'm glad this pick isn't a D or Crouse. Still, Zacha has a long way to go to be an NHL quality player.

What do you think his ceiling is? I see him more as a goal scoring winger than center. Edited by Zubie#8
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What do you think his ceiling is?

Whatever it is, it has to be about 4" taller to accommodate his "high hair".

He has worn #13, wouldn't it be something if the new regime allowed him to wear that number.

Edited by mfitz804
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Whatever it is, it has to be about 4" taller to accommodate his "high hair".

He has worn #13, wouldn't it be something if the new regime allowed him to wear that number.


Just a guess,  but Camm would get first dibs.  That said, I don't see all of the old traditions out the door.


And I'm ok with that.  Youngish franchise,  why mess with what little traditions we have.


Happy with pick as I ever am on a draft day.  Usually takes a few years to see.

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USA Today scouting report


6. New Jersey Devils - C Pavel Zacha. Big centerman is a dominating force down the middle — just what every team covets. A real horse with the size to bump and grind and the skill to make plays with the puck. Top-notch speed and quickness for a big player. Strong puck skills - handles it well and can distribute off both sides of the blade. Can also bury chances around the slot with a great release - gets terrific wrist snap. Great combination of a physical power forward and skill player at the centre position. Goes hard to the net without hesitation. Plays borderline dirty and on the edge - can intimidate defenders with his pounding forecheck. Perhaps most impressive for a young offensive star is his commitment to defense . Always responsible - comes back hard on the backcheck and consistently helps his d-men down deep below the dots. Very good hand/eye coordination on deflections and 1-timers.

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Tva sport suggest that Zacha could make the team Next year.... Alain Chainey former scout for anaheim ducks suggest that... I highly doubt it.


But yeah Zacha was the guy i wanted after Marner (Love rantanen too.)


Chainey said that after Mcdavid and Eichel he is the most NHL Ready prospect avalaible.

Edited by caron14
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I liked other players a bit more than him but I'm not going to complain. He has the talent and upside - hopefully he puts it all together. I wonder if he moves to the wing at the NHL level.


In Lou We Trust has a post on him with some info, highlights, and this "shift by shift" video:


Zacha came in at #5 on OHL Prospects media/scout top 10. There are a few paragraphs of comments on Zacha available from the various contributors.


Some bits from the Hockey Prospect Black Book where they ranked him 7th:


Zacha made an immediate impact with an excellent combination of size and speed. He gets up the ice very quickly and displayed excellent decision making with the puck on his stick., even under pressure. He is an excellent passer and makes hard, accurate passes on a consistent basis. As good of a playmaker as Zacha is, he’s just as effective shooting the puck and possesses a laser shot. He was very dangerous firing one-timers and was a player who really capitalized on the rush.
He will need to be better on his commitment to defense in his own zone. He got better as the year went on, but he cheated offensively too often and flew the D-zone early. He needs to be better supporting the puck, especially breaking out of his own zone.

2 scout quotes that stood out to me:


“He plays the right way. I actually think he would’ve posted better numbers if he played more selfishly. He’s good enough to skate through full teams but he kept making the technically smart play of passing to his open teammate…that’s where the plays died.”
“Look who’s he’s playing with here, the kid sees a play and nobody else on his line does.”


The Future Considerations Draft Guide had his potential as a "top 6 scoring, power winger". They had him ranked 15th.


Here's what Brendan Ross had to say in his free draft guide:


One of the true wildcards, Sarnia’s Pavel Zacha’s rookie OHL season was a bit of a rollercoaster that was filled with suspensions, injury and periods of unproductivity. At his best, he looks like a top three talent capable of exploding into
scoring lanes and unleashing a wicked snapshot. He’s lined up down the middle but he tends to operate better as a trigger
man and will likely end up flanking a top-six wing. His bullish style of play has the potential to be one of the league’s most exciting young players.

Style Comparison: Eric Staal with some bite.

Here is what The Projection Project tweeted out on Zacha:



Here is what NHL Numbers had to say on him via their own projection system:


Per PCS, comparable players in terms of production, age, and size made the NHL at just 15% of the time and tended to have middle-six upside. Both are pretty meager numbers for a guy you want to draft in either the first or the second round, but we also see there are some pretty high end offensive talents in Zacha's cohort. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in particular both fit this mold, though both absolutely exploded offensively the very next season.
Our consensus had Zacha ranked 30th, though I'm much, much higher on the kid than the others that voted. His 16-year old year was great. The eye test is great. His 17-year old year was pretty mediocre but there are rational explanations for that, and there's a precedent for similar players turning out great. If a team likes his combination of raw skill, massive size, high-end skating, and nasty physical play enough, they could quite conceivably reach for Zacha inside the top-10.

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