The New Jersey Devils today signed forward Pavel Zacha to a three-year entry-level contract with an average annual value of $925,000. The announcement was made by Devils’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.
Zacha, 18, was selected by New Jersey in the first round, sixth overall, of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He spent 2014-15 with Sarnia (OHL), recording nearly a point-per-game with 16g-18a-34pts and 56 penalty minutes in 37 appearances. Despite missing 31 games, the 6-3, 210-lb. forward ranked second among the Sting’s skaters with six power play goals and was tied for fourth in goals. Zacha was also named to the league’s First All-Rookie Team, finishing tenth in scoring among all first-year players. His 2014-15 season was highlighted by a six-game point-scoring streak from October 10-24 (5g-4a-9pts), which included a 1g-2a-3pt/plus-five effort October 11 vs. Windsor. Zacha also added 2g-1a-3pts and 10 PIM in five post-season contests.
Born April 6, 1997, the native of Brno, Czech Republic played in 38 games for Liberec in the country’s top league in 2013-14. He was mentored by former NHLer Petr Nedved, who was a big influence on his transition to North America. Zacha has participated in each of the last two World Junior Championships, and recorded 1g-1a-2pts in five games during the 2015 tournament. He has represented his country three times at the under-18 World Junior Championship, earning a Silver Medal in 2014 with 3g-2a-5pts in seven games. Zacha also appeared on the Czech Republic’s under-16 team as a 14-year old in 2011, and skated for both the under-17 and under-18 squads the following year as a 15-year old.