Pavel Zacha
Image: OHL

Pavel Zacha


Brno Czech Republic

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1st Round (6th Overall), 2015


200 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2011-12: Pavel Zacha appeared in  one Czech Republic U20 league game as a 15-year-old, skating for Bili Tygri Liberec. He split the season between Liberec’s U18 and U16 squads and played for the Czech U16 team. Zacha had no points nor penalties and was -1 with the Bili Tygri U20 squad. He scored 10 goals with 15 assists and was +16 with 20 penalty minutes in 36 regular season U18 games for Liberec and scored 2 goals with 3 assists, finishing +2 with 6 penalty minutes, in six playoff games. Eighth in the regular season, Bili Tygri reached the playoff semifinals. Zacha was the team’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs with 2 goals and 3 assists in seven games. He scored 26 goals with 39 assists and was +42 with 46 penalty minutes in 33 games for the Liberec U16 team.

2012-13: Zacha skated in his first pro game — recording no points nor penalties in a cameo appearance with second division club HC Benatky and Jizerou in the playoffs — and was the second-leading scorer for the Bili Tyrgi LIberec U20 team. He played for the Czech Republic at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship and in the Europe Youth Olympic Festival. Zacha scored 14 goals with 26 assists and was -1 with 26 penalty minutes in 39 regular season games forLiberec, which finished 10th in the regular season before reaching the U20 playoff semifinals. Zacha scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -1 in five playoff games. He had three assists and was was +3 with 2 penalty minutes in five games for the Czech Republic at the 2013 U18 WJC in Ufa, Russia and scored 1 goal with 2 assists in three games for the Czech U17 team at the EYOF.

2013-14: Zacha skated in the Czech Extraliga as a 16-year-old and represented the Czech Republic in three international tournaments — the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the 2014 U20 and U18 World Juniors tournaments. He played in 38 Czech Extraliga regular season games and three playoff contests for Bili Tygri Liberec, scoring 4 goals with 4 assists, and was -3 with 10 penalty minutes. Zacha played 12 second division games with Benatky and Jizerou, scoring 4 goals with 5 assists and finishing -2 with 6 penalty minutes. In 13 games for the Bili Tygri U20 team, including three playoff games, he scored 7 goals with 12 assists and was -1 with 68 penalty minutes. He was -2 with no points nor penalties in five games for the Czech Republic U20 squad. Zacha scored 1 goal with 2 assists and had an even plus/minus in four games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and scored 3 goals with 2 assists, finishing +2 with 4 penalty minutes in seven games at the WJC in Finland. The Czech U18 captured a silver medal, falling 5-2 to the USA in the gold medal game. Zacha was selected by the Sarnia Sting with the first overall pick in the 2014 CHL Import Draft.

2014-15: Zacha endured a challenging first season in North America — limited to 37 regular season games for the OHL’s Sarnia Sting due to nagging injuries and two suspensions for illegal hits. He represented the Czech Republic in both the 2015 U20 and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. Despite his adversity, Zacha was one of the Sting’s top forwards when in the lineup, scoring 16 goals with 18 assists and finishing +5 with 56 penalty minutes. Sarnia finished second in the West Division and lost to Erie in a first-round playoff series. Zacha scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -4 with 10 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -1 with no penalty minutes in five games for the Czech Republic U20 team and scored 5 goals with no assists, finishing +2 with 10 penalty minutes, skating in the U18 WJC. Zacha played for Team Orr in the CHL Top Prospects Game and was ranked eighth amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings prior to the 2015 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis

Zacha is an offensively dynamic forward who can make a significant impact on the game with his combination of size, speed, and skill. The centerman can beat defenders one-on-one when he is on the rush with the stick on his blade where he can overpower most opponents to generate scoring chances. Zacha also puts a lot of power into his wrist and slap shots. The physical challenges of hockey do not seem to bother him but he would prefer to create scoring chances rather than get into shoving matches. Personality-wise, Zacha is coachable, has a workmanlike attitude in the gym, and a positive charisma.


Zacha signed a three-year entry-level contract in August and attended his first training camp with New Jersey before returning to Sarnia for his second OHL season with the Sting in 2015-16. He also skated for the Czech Republic in the 2016 World Junior Championship. The leading scorer for the Sting, the extra year of junior hockey should help him better adjust to the North American game and build up his confidence.

Prospect Faceoff: Zacha vs. Senyshyn, other 2015 picks compete, plus high profile AHL matchup

by David Hahn
Alexandre Carrier - Gatineau Olympiques; Samuel Montembeault - Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

Photo: Gatineau Olympiques forward and Nashville Predators prospect Alexandre Carrier, and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada goaltender and Florida Panthers prospect Samuel Montembeault go head-to-head this weekend in a QMJHL matchup of NHL prospects (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images and Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)



It doesn’t get much better in the NHL prospect world when two draft selections taken just nine picks apart other go one-on-one. That is exactly the situation in Sault Ste. Marie this weekend, where Pavel Zacha and the Sarnia Sting travel to Sault Ste. Marie to take on Zach Senyshyn and the Greyhounds. Read more»

New Jersey Devils relying on youth movement to spearhead new direction

by John Iadevaia
Photo: Stefan Matteau signed a two year, one-way contract with the Devils in July, showing the young forwards is certain to be a part of the team's plans going forward. (Courtesy of Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Photo: Stefan Matteau signed a two year, one-way contract with the Devils in July, showing that the young forward is certain to be a part of the team’s plans going forward. (Courtesy of Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)



How times have changed in a year’s span. Last season the New Jersey Devils were a veteran laden team fighting to get back to the postseason. That push was derailed by the team’s inefficient offense and ineffective powerplay. The Devils would miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, ushering in a massive overhaul in personnel and management over the summer. New general manager Ray Shero and new head coach John Hynes will rely on the franchise’s prospects to bring the Devils back to the model franchise they once were. Read more»

Young blood enters New Jersey Devils top 20 prospects list

by John Iadevaia
Photo: Pavel Zacha was named to the 2014-15 OHL First All-Rookie Team after scoring 34 points in 37 games. (Courtesy of (CHL Images)

Photo: Pavel Zacha was named to the 2014-15 OHL First All-Rookie Team after scoring 34 points in 37 games. (Courtesy of (CHL Images)



The winds of change have swept across the entire New Jersey Devils organization. General Manager Ray Shero and Head Coach John Hynes are relying on the organization’s stash of underrated prospects to rise to the challenge during this transitional period. Most of these players saw this new attack-oriented system firsthand at Development Camp in July, and are all in favor of the change. Read more»

Zacha impresses Devils staff at development camp

by John Iadevaia
Pavel Zacha - New Jersey Devils Development Camp

Photo: The New Jersey Devils top pick from the 2015 NHL Draft, center Pavel Zacha of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, took part in the Devils’ development camp this past week (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)



It seemed like the moment the entire crowd at the AmeriHealth Pavilion were anticipating at Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage. Pavel Zacha, the New Jersey Devils‘ 2015 first round pick, retrieved a loose puck at center ice and appeared to have a clear breakaway on goal. Suddenly the whistle blew to signal an offside on one of Zacha’s teammates who was still in the offensive zone. While the fans serenaded the referee with a chorus of boos, Zacha bent over disappointed with a smirk on his face. Read more»

2015 NHL Draft Review: Czech Republic goaltenders in demand at this year’s draft

by Chapin Landvogt
Daniel Vladar - Boston Bruins - 2015 NHL Draft

Photo: Kladno goaltender and Boston Bruins prospect Daniel Vladar was one of four goalies chosen out of the Czech Republic in the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)



Despite a year that didn’t see the Czech Republic get much done internationally at the junior level, the 2015 NHL Draft saw a total of 11 Czech players taken by NHL teams, albeit the top three of Pavel Zacha (6th overall), Jakub Zboril (13th), and Filip Chlapik (48th) having spent this past season strutting their stuff in North America. Read more»