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The Pavel Zacha Thread

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13 minutes ago, Devil Dan 56 said:

I think you misunderstood what I was saying about the draft pick. I know he was picked where he should have been. I mean if this were a different player, I don't think people would mind a slow development. However, when you are chosen at 6 overall, there are certain expectations. For example, I would want him to be on a 40-50 point pace, and show improvement from his 28 point seasons in the past. But he's only on a roughly 22 point per 82 games pace. 

Basically I'm saying I agree with you, that he isn't doing what a 6th overall should. Where we differ is that I think he can still improve. He may never be a point per game guy, but I think he can definitely still develop into a useful player. 

I agree but it doesn't mean he isn't a bust.  You don't draft guys at #6 overall with the thinking they will turn into great 3rd or 4th liners.  He may be useful, but he would still be a bust.

If anything my anger is more towards Conte than Zacha himself.  Eight of the top 10 picks that year have become impactful NHL players.  We have one of the two that so far hasn't.

I'm also more pissed at Wood than I am Zacha these days, but that's another thread.

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Posted (edited)

Hoooo boy, this thread is a powderkeg just about ready to blow.  Now's my time to shine!

As I said in the last GDT - I despise having to root for this kid.  Half the time he looks disinterested out there.  When he's actually trying, it seems like he's unable to take one step forward without taking two steps back by making some completely brain dead decisions.  His turnovers in the last two games are about as bad as you're ever going to see - and if Greene, Wood, or ________ (insert whipping boy) make those plays you'd want them scratched.  All I see when I watch Zacha play is wasted potential and a wasted high draft pick.  He also plays about as soft a game as I've ever seen for a 6'-3" 210+ player - maybe only Boyle has him beat.  Boyle at least throws a hit every now and then.

A couple bullet points:

  • I don't care how young he is.  He has, what, 200+ games now under his belt?  When can I start to hold him accountable for his sh!t play and lack of development?  How many games must he coast through before I'm allowed to be frustrated?
     
  • His draft position is absolutely relevant to how he should be judged right now.  He's been gifted top-6 ice time for two seasons now because of it.  You will not convince me otherwise that if Zacha was instead a 5th round pick that he'd still be with the big team - let alone centering the first and/or second lines at times.  Also, as someone else said, he was a consensus top-10ish pick going into the draft - it's not like we took a huge gamble on an unknown prospect.  People thought he had the potential to be a star power forward, and he's absolutely and obviously failed to even look a 10th of the part so far. 
     
  • fvck Lou, and fvck Conte for essentially managing to select 1 of the 2 players out of like 15 impact guys that would bust because  'you can't teach size!'

So, in summary, the sooner Pavel Zacha is gone the better for my mental health - assuming of course he continues along the same path and doesn't turn into a regular top-6 forward.  I hope he proves me wrong and I'll be the first to admit I was wrong if he manages to make something of himself.  But as it stands, I'm over this kid.

 

Edited by Devilsfan118

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Zacha has not been 'gifted' top 6 ice time.  He played 14 minutes a game his first two seasons and then 15 minutes a game this season - he's been behind Zajac and Henrique or Zajac and Hischier in terms of ice time all 3 years he's been here.  Only in the last few weeks has his ice time really gone up, and that's because his play has as well, although on this recent road trip he's regressed some.

He'll never be a star player but he can be an effective player.  There's a lot to dislike about his game and maybe he never takes that next step into being consistently effective, but his best games this year are better than his best games the previous season.  He's getting better.  It's just a question of how far he manages to go.

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8 minutes ago, Devilsfan118 said:

 

  • His draft position is absolutely relevant to how he should be judged right now.  He's been gifted top-6 ice time for two seasons now because of it.  You will not convince me otherwise that if Zacha was instead a 5th round pick that he'd still be with the big team - let alone centering the first and/or second lines at times.  Also, as someone else said, he was a consensus top-10ish pick going into the draft - it's not like we took a huge gamble on an unknown prospect.  People thought he had the potential to be a star power forward, and he's absolutely and obviously failed to even look a 10th of the part so far. 

If this is really sound logic, then why do so many first round picks never even make it to the NHL??? Oh wait, it isn't. 

His draft position isn't relevant. What's relevant is the potential and skills the staff seem to think he has and the lack of an alternative, not what position he was taken on paper. You don't get given those opportunities for two years based on your draft position. 

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38 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

If this is really sound logic, then why do so many first round picks never even make it to the NHL??? Oh wait, it isn't. 

His draft position isn't relevant. What's relevant is the potential and skills the staff seem to think he has and the lack of an alternative, not what position he was taken on paper. You don't get given those opportunities for two years based on your draft position. 

That goes back to the Devils doing a very poor job drafting while Lou and Conte was in charge.  Because they failed at drafting well we don't have any alternatives in the immediate time frame.  That doesn't negate him being an awful pick and him being considered a bust or at least a big disappointment.

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28 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

That goes back to the Devils doing a very poor job drafting while Lou and Conte was in charge.  Because they failed at drafting well we don't have any alternatives in the immediate time frame.  That doesn't negate him being an awful pick and him being considered a bust or at least a big disappointment.

Can you remind me again about that draft stuff? I haven't herd about it enough and must have forgotten about it. /s

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35 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Can you remind me again about that draft stuff? I haven't herd about it enough and must have forgotten about it. /s

If you constantly harp on saying draft position doesn't matter then yeah you are going to hear about "that draft stuff" over and over again.

I don't care what excuse people can concoct to make themselves feel better about Zacha, but right now he isn't doing much of anything.  Most games I forget he is on the ice with exception for misses or misplays.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

If you constantly harp on saying draft position doesn't matter then yeah you are going to hear about "that draft stuff" over and over again.

I don't care what excuse people can concoct to make themselves feel better about Zacha, but right now he isn't doing much of anything.  Most games I forget he is on the ice with exception for misses or misplays.

Angry face is as close as we can get to a thumbs down so that's what you'll get lol.

Draft position doesn't mean sh!t. If Connor McDavid were drafted in the 11th round he's still Connor McDavid. Pavel Zacha was always Pavel Zacha. It's not his responsibility to tell Conte not to draft him where he was because it was too high.

I'm not tired about hearing about the draft because I'm some major Zacha defender. I'm tired of hearing about it in general. I'm tired of seeing "this is who NJ could have drafted instead" posts. Who cares? NJ could have. They didn't. Live in the now. 

Edited by NJDevils1214

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7 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Angry face is as close as we can get to a thumbs down so that's what you'll get lol.

Draft position doesn't mean sh!t. If Connor McDavid were drafted in the 11th round he's still Connor McDavid. Pavel Zacha was always Pavel Zacha. It's not his responsibility to tell Conte not to draft him where he was because it was too high.

I'm not tired about hearing about the draft because I'm some major Zacha defender. I'm tired of hearing about it in general. I'm tired of seeing "this is who NJ could have drafted instead" posts. Who cares? NJ could have. They didn't. Live in the now. 

And a player of McDavid's talent is never being drafted that late.  So why bring in that hypothetical situation in when it would never ever happen?

We are living in the now and Zacha has costed us 2 valuable goals with dumb plays in his last 2 games played.  That and him going on a 15-20 game pointless streak to start the season is not even NHL grinder level good.  A guy who was drafted to bring in offense is not only lacking in offense, but is a black hole for whomever he plays with.  Guy is just awful all around and the whole draft thing about him is the icing on the sh!t cake.

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33 minutes ago, DevsMan84 said:

And a player of McDavid's talent is never being drafted that late.  So why bring in that hypothetical situation in when it would never ever happen?

We are living in the now and Zacha has costed us 2 valuable goals with dumb plays in his last 2 games played.  That and him going on a 15-20 game pointless streak to start the season is not even NHL grinder level good.  A guy who was drafted to bring in offense is not only lacking in offense, but is a black hole for whomever he plays with.  Guy is just awful all around and the whole draft thing about him is the icing on the sh!t cake.

The point of the statement about McDavid went over your head then. The point is a player's draft position means NOTHING about his actual talent. Plenty of top 5 picks never even make it to the NHL and sometimes you get a 6th round pick that turns into Henrik Zetterberg. Just because Zacha was drafted too high doesn't make it HIS fault. He has turned into the player that he was always going to be.  

As far as Zacha's play is concerned, I never mentioned it in any of my posts or have defended him or his turnovers.  I said I am tied of hearing about the draft and how bad the Devils have drafted in the past since it's 100% moot. It happened. Crying about it constantly doesn't add anything other than, "Whelp, wish we knew that then".

My best advice to you and people who continue to constantly bitch non-stop about how bad the Devils have drafted is to just get over it. Let it go. It sucks and I think it sucks. Continuing to complain isn't going to change the picks that were already made. The constant bitching "NJ could have gotten Barzel and this is what they took instead...blah blah blah" is old. So like I said, get in your time machine and help us out or give it a rest.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Draft position doesn't mean sh!t. If Connor McDavid were drafted in the 11th round he's still Connor McDavid. Pavel Zacha was always Pavel Zacha. It's not his responsibility to tell Conte not to draft him where he was because it was too high.

I'm not trying to attack you personally here, but I just don't get where you're coming from with this mentality.  What does that McDavid example even convey?  McDavid would never go in the 11th (they stop at 7 by the way) round because he's supremely talented.  If McDavid went 1st overall and failed to live up to the expectations of a 1st overall pick, well.. we'd be having the same conversation.  It doesn't work both ways.  Do you understand this? 

The only reason we're talking about Zacha with such fervor is because he is (was) a relatively highly touted prospect who has failed to largely live up to expectations.  If he was a 7th round pick we wouldn't be talking about him because we wouldn't be expecting anything out of him.

4 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

The point of the statement about McDavid went over your head then. The point is a player's draft position means NOTHING about his actual talent. Plenty of top 5 picks never even make it to the NHL and sometimes you get a 6th round pick that turns into Henrik Zetterberg. Just because Zacha was drafted too high doesn't make it HIS fault. He has turned into the player that he was always going to be.  

Dude what are you even talking about - why are first round picks held with such value then if all picks in all rounds are created equal?  

Should we trade our 1st for a bunch of 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths since a player's rank in a draft doesn't matter?  Extreme example but I'm attempting to extend and understand your logic here.

Edited by Devilsfan118
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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Devilsfan118 said:

I'm not trying to attack you personally here, but I just don't get where you're coming from with this mentality.  What does that McDavid example even convey?  McDavid would never go in the 11th (they stop at 7 by the way) round because he's supremely talented.  If McDavid went 1st overall and failed to live up to the expectations of a 1st overall pick, well.. we'd be having the same conversation.  It doesn't work both ways.  Do you understand this? 

The only reason we're talking about Zacha with such fervor is because he is (was) a relatively highly touted prospect who has failed to largely live up to expectations.  If he was a 7th round pick we wouldn't be talking about him because we wouldn't be expecting anything out of him.

Dude what are you even talking about - why are first round picks held with such value then if all picks in all rounds are created equal?  

Should we trade our 1st for a bunch of 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths since a player's rank in a draft doesn't matter?  Extreme example but I'm attempting to extend and understand your logic here.

Teams hire scouting coaches to take their best guesses at which players might turn out to have the best talent. None of that is guaranteed. It's the lottery with educated guessing. The players themselves just go play, its the scouts that make a draft order. My main point is that the player's talent isn't determined by where they are picked in the draft.That was where my analogy with McDavid came from, I obviously didn't intend for you to take that at literal face value. Scouts make the order. Zacha is a disappointment at number 7 and I get that, but that isn't Zacha's fault. That is Conte's fault for drafting him that early.

I don't know how this is such a hard concept to understand.

Also, just to reiterate, I am tired of hearing about how bad the Devils have drafted in the past every other day. I am talking about picks outside of Zacha too. My posts were not in defense of Zacha, they were expresing my annoyance with having to talk about how sh!tty Conte and Lou drafted again for the 10,000th time. 

Edited by NJDevils1214

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19 minutes ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Teams hire scouting coaches to take their best guesses at which players might turn out to have the best talent. None of that is guaranteed. It's the lottery with educated guessing. The players themselves just go play, its the scouts that make a draft order. My main point is that the player's talent isn't determined by where they are picked in the draft.That was where my analogy with McDavid came from, I obviously didn't intend for you to take that at literal face value. Scouts make the order. Zacha is a disappointment at number 7 and I get that, but that isn't Zacha's fault. That is Conte's fault for drafting him that early.

I don't know how this is such a hard concept to understand.

Also, just to reiterate, I am tired of hearing about how bad the Devils have drafted in the past every other day. I am talking about picks outside of Zacha too. My posts were not in defense of Zacha, they were expresing my annoyance with having to talk about how sh!tty Conte and Lou drafted again for the 10,000th time. 

The analogy is garbage and you know it.  If Zacha was taken at 15th overall he would be disappointing.  If he was taken at 30th overall he would still be disappointing.  Just like how we are disappointed that Q isn't even an NHL player along with Matteau.  There are certainly degrees of disappointment, but it doesn't make Zacha's case any better, but only worse because of where he was indeed drafted and how many others all around him have managed to put together good to very good careers thus far.

Yes, we will go over and over again about how sh!tty Conte and Lou drafted over their last 10-15 years in NJ. Their drafting failures have put NJ way behind the eight-ball and their parting gift to the organization was whiffing with the #6 overall in the deepest draft since 2003.  And yes we will talk about how nice it would be if we had selected Barzal or Rantanen instead of Zacha because we could use either one of those players right now.

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7 hours ago, DevsMan84 said:

I think this argument is silly.  He was pegged to be a top 10-15 pick at the time.  Therefore, multiple scouts/teams saw that he he had potential to be in that position and him going in the 2nd or 3rd round was not even a possibility.  I know there are outliers with scouts getting it wrong, but I am not going to use those to excuse Zacha being a supreme disappointment.

Also the age excuse is also silly.  The guy has played in almost 200 NHL games by now.  If that is still being considered "new" then where do we draw the line?  At his 300th or 400th game?

Zacha is and will be a bust.  I really hope I am wrong but Zacha continues to prove me right, unfortunately.  Whatever stat or metrics or standard you want to conjure up to make you feel better about his disappointing play is fine; just don't expect people to follow you right off that bridge.

Bravo sir, well done.  It's not personal nor his fault he was picked so high but at the end of the day it's about results and he does very little.  I mean it's utterly shocking when he scores or even assists on a goal. That stinks for a guy with ~175 games.  When going down the roster and picking out what slots could be improved he gets a check in the box every time from me.

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Honestly, I am tired of talking about drafting because its over, you can't go back and not draft him. So I will state the following:

RECAP:

  • He sucks. Not almost. 
  • I hope at some point in the future, he sucks less. There is still some chance that could happen. 
  • I'm happy his numbers at this point in his career are better than Josefson's. But that's like eating an awful sandwich and saying "hey, at least it's not dog sh!t". 
  • If he doesn't suck less soon, it's time to trade him elsewhere, where hopefully for his sake he will begin not to suck, and we can get something in return that also does not suck. 
  • He should be healthy scratched after the nonsense he pulled in the last 3 games. If we had anyone to take his place, of course. We are currently icing a team featuring Blake Pietila and Drew Stafford. 
  • I'll be very happy if one day he proves me wrong, and then is subsequently traded for the league MVP, which is exactly what happened when I hated Larsson. 
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PZ is still young enough to develop like Bo Horvat. If you look at BH stats first couple of years they are pretty bad but he slowly developed into a reliable NHL center though nobody will confuse him with Auston Matthews. 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, PacificDevil said:

PZ is still young enough to develop like Bo Horvat. If you look at BH stats first couple of years they are pretty bad but he slowly developed into a reliable NHL center though nobody will confuse him with Auston Matthews. 

This is why I brought up the same thing about Sean Couturier, it's frustrating drafting a guy in the top 10 and watching him go through growing pains early in his career, but there's a reason why these guys were drafted so high and proclaiming at the age of 21 that "he's always going to suck" is downright foolish. Guys like Bo Horvat, Sean Couturier, and Brayden Schenn were roughly what Zacha is now at the same age, who wouldn't want one of those guys on the Devils right now? Zacha has the tools to be a good player - he can skate, I think he's a pretty good passer with good vision in the offensive zone, he has a good shot when he uses it, and he's excellent defensively. If there was nothing there and he looked like fvcking Tim Sestito out there every night I'd be singing a different tune, but there's a skill set there that I can see that gives me hope he's still going to find his way, I really think the thing he has to figure out is all mental in terms of playing with confidence every night and engaging himself physically more to make use of his 6'3" frame. You can't say he hasn't made any progress since he entered the league as a 19 year old, that would be ignorant.

All I'm saying is, I know it's frustrating watching other guys from the 2015 Draft succeed right now, but I think as long as he's wearing a Devils crest on the front of his uniform lets have some patience and root for the fvckin' guy. As long as he's wearing red and black I want this guy to succeed.

Edited by CommonDreads
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27 minutes ago, PacificDevil said:

PZ is still young enough to develop like Bo Horvat. If you look at BH stats first couple of years they are pretty bad but he slowly developed into a reliable NHL center though nobody will confuse him with Auston Matthews. 

 I just want to point out, my hatred of Zacha is based on his sh!tty performance now.I don’t know if he will develop, or if he will turn into something great, or something just good. All I know is he sucks right now, and I’m tired of watching him suck.

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1 hour ago, DevsMan84 said:

The analogy is garbage and you know it.  If Zacha was taken at 15th overall he would be disappointing.  If he was taken at 30th overall he would still be disappointing.  Just like how we are disappointed that Q isn't even an NHL player along with Matteau.  There are certainly degrees of disappointment, but it doesn't make Zacha's case any better, but only worse because of where he was indeed drafted and how many others all around him have managed to put together good to very good careers thus far.

Yes, we will go over and over again about how sh!tty Conte and Lou drafted over their last 10-15 years in NJ. Their drafting failures have put NJ way behind the eight-ball and their parting gift to the organization was whiffing with the #6 overall in the deepest draft since 2003.  And yes we will talk about how nice it would be if we had selected Barzal or Rantanen instead of Zacha because we could use either one of those players right now.

It's entirely possible I'm not articulating my point very well, but either way we're not going to agree so there's no point in continuing. 

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1 hour ago, CommonDreads said:

This is why I brought up the same thing about Sean Couturier, it's frustrating drafting a guy in the top 10 and watching him go through growing pains early in his career, but there's a reason why these guys were drafted so high and proclaiming at the age of 21 that "he's always going to suck" is downright foolish. Guys like Bo Horvat, Sean Couturier, and Brayden Schenn were roughly what Zacha is now at the same age, who wouldn't want one of those guys on the Devils right now? Zacha has the tools to be a good player - he can skate, I think he's a pretty good passer with good vision in the offensive zone, he has a good shot when he uses it, and he's excellent defensively. If there was nothing there and he looked like fvcking Tim Sestito out there every night I'd be singing a different tune, but there's a skill set there that I can see that gives me hope he's still going to find his way, I really think the thing he has to figure out is all mental in terms of playing with confidence every night and engaging himself physically more to make use of his 6'3" frame. You can't say he hasn't made any progress since he entered the league as a 19 year old, that would be ignorant.

All I'm saying is, I know it's frustrating watching other guys from the 2015 Draft succeed right now, but I think as long as he's wearing a Devils crest on the front of his uniform lets have some patience and root for the fvckin' guy. As long as he's wearing red and black I want this guy to succeed.

So why not let him develop in the minors instead of here costing us games? Bring up a prospect who can handle growing in the big league.

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6 hours ago, NJDevils1214 said:

Can you remind me again about that draft stuff? I haven't herd about it enough and must have forgotten about it. /s

Yes, Barzal looks like he will be great and Zacha looks like he will suck. Happy to help! Lol. 

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39 minutes ago, devlman said:

So why not let him develop in the minors instead of here costing us games? Bring up a prospect who can handle growing in the big league.

That’s the thing though, he can and is contributing here already. He’s one of the best penalty killers on the 2nd best penalty kill in the NHL, and I’m not sure which games he’s really costed us this season. If people are claiming that Zacha lost us the Vegas game because of one turnover, I think that’s a red herring to distract from the fact that Kinkaid gift wrapped two goals for the Knights and the Devils spent at least 30 minutes of that game playing prevent defense for no reason.

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31 minutes ago, CommonDreads said:

That’s the thing though, he can and is contributing here already. He’s one of the best penalty killers on the 2nd best penalty kill in the NHL, and I’m not sure which games he’s really costed us this season. If people are claiming that Zacha lost us the Vegas game because of one turnover, I think that’s a red herring to distract from the fact that Kinkaid gift wrapped two goals for the Knights and the Devils spent at least 30 minutes of that game playing prevent defense for no reason.

I wholeheartedly disagree that he’s contributing enough to warrant being on this team.

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8 minutes ago, devlman said:

I wholeheartedly disagree that he’s contributing enough to warrant being on this team.

Well then I guess I’d have to ask you then: who in Binghamton do you think would contribute more in Zacha’s role? I don’t think there’s a proper argument to say that Zacha has no business being on this team, we saw a small stretch of this season where Zacha was in Binghamton and it’s not like their results were any better.

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3 minutes ago, CommonDreads said:

Well then I guess I’d have to ask you then: who in Binghamton do you think would contribute more in Zacha’s role? I don’t think there’s a proper argument to say that Zacha has no business being on this team, we saw a small stretch of this season where Zacha was in Binghamton and it’s not like their results were any better.

Rooney, Quenneville? Neither are huge upgrades but would allow Zacha to develop on a more suitable level.  I’d personally like to see what McLeod can bring and whether the NHL level accelerates his development.

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