Prospect Info: Pavel Zacha

Discussion in 'New Jersey Devils' started by russ4king, Jan 7, 2017.

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  1. Cage Helmet

    Cage Helmet Thank you Marty!

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    He’s been underwhelming for a 6th overall pick, yes. He’s had some issues over his first two pro seasons, yes. I’m still a bit higher on him than most, though. He’s also received a sheltered role in minutes. At worst he’s a third line winger and I think he’s already a third line player. To me he’s probably gonna be a lesser Gomez. Gomez was a tremendous talent for the org and probably the best center the NJD had in their prime years. He just gets shat on for his defection to the Raggies and his premature decline and lack of longevity as a really good top line center. So saying Zacha isn’t as good as Gomer isn’t a jab at Zacha. It’s just more of a compliment and testament to Gomer. Zacha was pretty good at moving through the neutral zone this year. Very good IQ and vision. decent skating. The largest blemish to me right now is a below average shot. Both in quality and quantity.
     
  2. NJDevs26

    NJDevs26 Back in the playoffs! #BoyleStrong

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    We're NOT having the Travis Zajac debate here...move it along back to Zacha.
     
  3. NJ DevLolz

    NJ DevLolz Respect Your MVP

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    Yeah, I don't know if Zacha will ever be a primary scorer on the team, but since we got some lottery luck with Hischier, he thankfully won't have to be. If he can chip in 15-20 goals and 35-45 points in his prime, you take that. He's trending pretty well as a middle-six tough minute center and elite PKer. He has enough puck skills to think that there's more there, but I won't hold my breath because of injuries and lack of consistency and confidence. Though, I wouldn't doubt the two go hand in hand.
     
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  4. AfroThunder396

    AfroThunder396 [citation needed]

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    Calling this thread "Prospect Info" kinda bothers me since he's been in the NHL two seasons and is now on the last year of his ELC. Shouldn't this be renamed Player Discussion?
     
  5. tailfins

    tailfins Registered User

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    Agree.

    Especially since Zacha's progress next year is probably one of the two biggest determiners of how much better the team will be next year. The other being how well Cory / Kinky do.
     
  6. NJDevs26

    NJDevs26 Back in the playoffs! #BoyleStrong

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    Believe it or not there is no player discussion tag on this board (or at least I don’t see it on mobile), the one that seems to fit most of the displayed ones is Speculation and that’s a bit meh but more fitting probably.
     
  7. Setec Astronomy

    Setec Astronomy Registered User

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    A GM could probably get a so-so UFA every year to be a lower line's "primary breakout option" who has "awareness" in the neutral zone. That GM could not get some who was nearly good as Gomez was at his peak, who you could depend on getting the puck into the offensive zone like clockwork.

    I say Zacha's technically not a bust because I he can probably play in NHL and maybe one day could help produce goals if he plays with exceptional players like Zajac did. So he's not Hugh Jessiman. But he was the sixth overall pick when several other players who have become exceptional players were still available and not thought of as hidden gems. His draft position matters when you're talking about the type of player he's become or will be.
     
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  8. Zajacs Bowl Cut

    Zajacs Bowl Cut Nova Nation

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    It really doesn't. Where he was drafted 3 years ago has no bearing on anything.

    As (I believe) Triumph mentioned the other day, look at how many of our past "top" forward prospects were even in the NHL by 20 years old.

    Parise wasn't, Henrique wasn't, Zajac wasn't. Gomez was 20 in his rookie year

    Go around the NHL and count how many legitimate top 6 centers there are in the league who are 20 years old or younger. You'd be surprised at what you find.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  9. Triumph

    Triumph Registered User

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    That player would have to be paid more than the $925,000 that Pavel Zacha makes. And he'd be older than Pavel Zacha and probably on the decline. I don't know why you're being difficult about this - Zacha is talented and he does some nice things out on the ice. He just hasn't started scoring many goals yet. He probably won't be a 1st line player. That doesn't mean he isn't valuable, either now or in the future.

    His draft position matters if you're looking to win a message board argument. That's all over and done with - the time to debate the 2015 draft was in 2015. Some people are better, some people are worse; we've got Zacha, for better or for worse, and I'm much more interested in what kind of player he will be in 2 years than how his fellow first-round picks are doing.
     
  10. devilsblood

    devilsblood Registered User

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    His draft position is relevant if your looking to rehash that pick.

    But if he is a good pick or not has nothing to do with Zacha, it has to do with Conte.

    So fans should not be critical of Zacha because he is not Barzal. If he turns into a solid but not spectacular 2nd line center we should be happy about that.
     
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  11. Muevelo

    Muevelo Registered User

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    His trade value is at a all time low so we wouldn't get anything worth while. He has his flashes. Hopefully this year he improves. Alot.
     
  12. Devils Dominion

    Devils Dominion Need a 1LD

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    It was lower midway through the season.
     
  13. Muevelo

    Muevelo Registered User

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    I can guess I can see that. Nonetheless, it's really low.
     
  14. NJDevs26

    NJDevs26 Back in the playoffs! #BoyleStrong

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    So what would Lou give us for him? :sarcasm:
     
  15. Cage Helmet

    Cage Helmet Thank you Marty!

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    Good call on noting the lack of 20 year old players we had here in the past. Look at Parise’s rookie year. He was 21 years old and his production was almost identical to Zacha this year as far as point per game go. Both had a similar TOI, also. Parise had better goal output, though. Not saying that Zacha is gearing up for a 62 point season next year, but I certainly didn’t expect Parise’s sophomore campaign to feature a double up in offensive production. Zacha already had his sophomore campaign, yes, but Parise hadn’t yet made his NHL debut when he was the age Zacha was when he played his most recent NHL game. Elias also wasn’t a full time NHL player until he was 21. Different era’s, yes, but Elias didn’t look like he was gonna be a borderline superstar upon the beginning of his full time NHL career.
     
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  16. Bleedred

    Bleedred #freetheshootertutor

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    Barzal!:sarcasm:
     
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  17. Setec Astronomy

    Setec Astronomy Registered User

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    I can’t speak to Elias, but the reason why you can’t compare Parise’s growing pains with whatever Zacha is, is primarily because Parise dominated at the NCAA level to the point that it would have been shocking if Parise turned out to be anything other than a great player at the NHL level.

    Zacha did not dominate the CHL even in his draft+1 year. It’s not necessarily the death knell for being a good NHLer, but if he’s not showing it now, and he never really has, it’s very unlikely he ever will.
     
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  18. Triumph

    Triumph Registered User

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    You're very good at predicting the past, but Parise came out of college and had a totally unremarkable AHL debut - he led the team in points but he didn't score goals - and then he had an unremarkable rookie season at age 21. There's absolutely no way knowing what I know now that I would've predicted he'd score 30+ goals in his next season.

    The only thing that stats in a previous league tell us is what we think a player might do in the next season at a higher level. Once they're playing in that higher league, we can start to consider what those numbers mean - most importantly, the most relevant data point is the most recent season. I don't care very much what Zacha's stats were in the CHL at this juncture - they're much less relevant than his NHL performance. Guys who are 20 and putting up the numbers Zacha is tend to improve into something better. They don't tend to become 1st line players, though.

    The only point of bringing up Parise and Elias etc. to Zacha is merely to note that Devils forwards have typically been older than Zacha when they've become NHL regulars. Searching hockey-reference for 20 year old forwards playing for the Devils gets me Gomez, who won the Calder as an h-r 20 year old (turned 20 before 2/1 is a 20 year old according to h-r), Zacha, Tedenby, and Josefson are the only Devils who've played more than 41 NHL games as an h-r 20 year old since Shanahan in 89. Obviously Bratt and Hischier will next year, but this is not something we've seen a lot of.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  19. Setec Astronomy

    Setec Astronomy Registered User

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    Parise was second in points on Albany as a 20 year old and put 58 points in 73 games on a truly awful team. It was also the lockout year when there was better talent in the AHL than usual (Ottawa’s affiliate in Binghamton was in the same division and particularly loaded). That’s very good.
     
  20. Triumph

    Triumph Registered User

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    It's not, though. He scored 18 goals. It's not easy for me to search, but there's not a lot of players with those sorts of numbers who go on to be NHL stars. It was a bad team, but his linemates were probably okay. Stars should crush the AHL. Just look at the leaders in the AHL that season - Spezza, Cammalleri, and Eric Staal were top 10 in scoring. Now if you tell me that he and McAmmond played on separate lines, then I'd think higher of it. But it's 18 goals. And then the next season in the NHL wasn't very impressive either. If you want to try to claim that you wouldn't be screaming on here about what a bust Parise is after those 2 seasons, feel free.
     
  21. Setec Astronomy

    Setec Astronomy Registered User

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    Spezza and Cammalleri were two years older than Parise and both had NHL experience at that point, Spezza significant NHL experience, so I don't know exactly what you're trying to prove bringing up those two. Eric Staal went on to be a player than Parise, so I don't know what that proves either?

    There are some people who still believe that Zacha is going to be a point producer (i.e. contributing to scoring goals which is the object of the game). Every single thing about the guy's history suggests that's never going to be the case. If you want to look at Parise's one season in the AHL and his better rookie year than Zacha's as some sort of hope that Zacha's going to put it all together soon, you're going to be disappointed.
     
  22. Triumph

    Triumph Registered User

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    Spezza is a year older. Cammalleri is 2 years older so I agree there, but these were the people tearing up the AHL. As for Staal, I don't think he's been significantly better and also Staal is younger than Parise. Unless I manually count using hockeydb, I don't have access to the full top scorers list in the AHL that season, otherwise I'd rattle off the other names who outscored Parise. And again - he didn't score goals. He had 18 goals. That's not very good.

    Okay, I'll say this very simply, because you've got it absolutely backwards here, and so I will just repeat myself since you seem to need that. I did not bring up Parise because I think Zacha will be better than him or equal to him. In just about every post, I say that Zacha does not project to be a 1st line player. The reason I keep bringing up Parise and Elias and just about every non-Gomez forward the Devils ever developed is that they were not in the NHL at age 20 and so had no opportunity to either suck or be good or be what Zacha has been in the NHL so far. Zacha would've torn up juniors had he had the opportunity to stay there as a 19 year old - he didn't get that chance. He's a talented player who's finally up to NHL speed in the neutral and defensive zones - now the Devils just have to get him there in the offensive zone.
     
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  23. NJ DevLolz

    NJ DevLolz Respect Your MVP

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    Wow, that's actually a pretty impressive list of guys around Zacha. Within .05 above and below:
    • Schenn
    • Kucherov
    • Johansson
    • Larkin
    • Jenner
    • Huberdeau

    The only caveat is that I bet Zacha got more ATOI than most of those guys, however, he did only shoot 7%, which is obviously on the low side. Now, obviously there were a lot of guys in there who didn't have great NHL careers, but it's fair to say Zacha has a good shot to be a top six player. Not to mention he is pretty good at d at a young age.
     
  24. devilsblood

    devilsblood Registered User

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    In Zacha's +1 season, including playoffs he put up 1.32 ppg. The idea that he has never shown an ability to put up points is false.
     
  25. Triumph

    Triumph Registered User

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    The trouble with hockey-reference is that it for some reason counts a player's age as their age as of 2/1 in that season. I suspect it's a remnant from baseball-reference that they just ported over, not realizing that it's not a good way to measure the age of hockey players. Luckily, 5 of the 6 players you mentioned were in their draft year + 3, but Johansson was only in draft year +2 when he put up those numbers.
     
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