2006-07: Zahn played 39 games for the Saskatoon Blades after making his WHL debut in one game in 2005-06. He had 3 assists and was -19 with 68 PIM in primarily an enforcer, energy type role on a Blades team that finished last in the Eastern division.
2007-08: Zahn had a much bigger role in his second full year with Saskatoon. While once again providing some crunch on the Blades back line, he scored 4 goals with 15 assists. Zahn also racked up 104 PIM and his -28 plus/minus could at least partially be attributed to playing for a Blades team that once again missed the playoffs. He was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fifth round (132nd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
2008-09: Zahn served as one of the team’s assistant captains for the second season and helped lead Saskatoon to the WHL playoffs. In 62 games, he scored 5 goals with 11 assists and was +5 with 160 PIM as the much-improved Blades finished first in the East division. Zahn scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was +1 with 12 PIM in the Blades’ seven-game, first-round playoff loss to Lethbridge.
2009-10: Zahn missed much of his fourth season with Saskatoon due to a broken leg suffered in January but returned to play for the Blades in the playoffs. Zahn’s offensive numbers were down prior to his injury, due partially to the outstanding play of some of the younger Blades defensemen. He finished with 3 assists and was -3 with 84 PIM, the majority of those fighting majors, in 44 games. Zahn had 2 assists with 8 PIM and was +1 in 10 playoff games as the Blades swept Red Deer in the first round before falling to Brandon. The Blackhawks did not exercise their rights to Zahn and he re-entered the NHL Draft. He was selected by Tampa Bay in the seventh round (186th overall) in the 2010 draft.
2010-11: Zahn was second in penalty minutes and +39 on a Saskatoon Blades team that had the WHL’s best regular season record. His 133 PMs were second only to Lukas Sutter’s 179 PMs and he also scored 3 goals with 20 assists. Zahn skated in all 10 playoff games for the Blades and was an even plus/minus with 3 assists and 10 PMs. Zahn was not offered a contract by the Lightning and became an unrestricted free agent in June 2011.
Zahn is a throwback defensive defenseman who relishes physical play and keeps things simple. Zahn logged a lot of ice time in his early junior hockey days with Saskatoon but that seemed to wane as the Blades' talent level improved. He plays a simple game, making sound passes and taking care of his own end. Zahn was also one of the tougher fighters in the WHL. His skating, while improved, is still below average.
Zahn will be in camp with the Lightning and likely open the season with either the Lightning's AHL affiliate Norfolk or possibly in the ECHL. While his upside in terms of potential is limited, Zahn has the work ethic and mindset of a solid defensive defenseman who enjoys the physical part of the game and will drop the gloves when it is necessary. While seventh round picks are generally long shots, Zahn's toughness and desire give him a shot at a lower pairing, call-up type role down the road.