Looking to make the leap: Pavel Zacha


This is part of New Jersey Devils day at PHT…

The past four years have not been particularly fun for the New Jersey Devils or their fans.

Not only has the team failed to qualify for the playoffs every year since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, but the team has been especially dull on the ice, lacking young, impact talent at the forward positions that could not only be the foundation of a competitive team, but that could also play an exciting brand of hockey.

They are trying to fix that.

Adding Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers in a stunning blockbuster trade over the summer adds an elite talent in the prime of his career to the roster, while they also have some hope for the future with 2015 first-round draft pick Pavel Zacha perhaps being on the verge of getting his first real look in the NHL.

Zacha spent most of the 2015-16 season playing for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League where he had 64 points in 51 games. He also got his first taste of pro hockey when he appeared in three games in the American Hockey League (where he scored a goal and added two assists) and one NHL game in late April where he recorded a pair of assists.

Zacha was bothered by a hip pointer injury during the offseason that kept him out of the team’s development camp, but he should be ready for the start of training camp where he will be competing for a roster spot.

Back in July Devils general manager Ray Shero said there is room for Zacha on the roster because, “there is always room for good players.”

Given where the Devils offense has been in recent years and the lack of potential impact prospects at the forward positions they could really use Zacha not only earning a spot on the NHL roster, but making an impact on the ice as well.