2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #10 - Pavel Zacha
Zach brings speed, skill and size -- all in one versatile and balanced package. He presents an intriguing option for the Blue Jackets in the first round.
Current Team: Sarnia Sting, OHL
Date of Birth: April 6, 1997
Place of Birth: Brno, Czech Republic
Weight: 214 lbs
As we round out the Top Ten of our prospect profiles, we look at yet another immensely talented forward, this time from the Czech Republic. Pavel Zacha brings speed and skill to the table in ample quantities, but sports NHL-ready size, at 6'3"and 214. To put that in perspective, he is the same height as Dylan Strome, but carries an additional 25 pounds of heft. That will help him win battles and tolerate the punishment of an 82-game NHL season. As his 56 penalty minutes in just 37 games in Sarnia attest -- he's not afraid to use that physical stature to his advantage.
Zacha made his North American debut this season for the Sarnia Sting, where his numbers were solid -- 16 goals, 18 assists and 34 points in 37 games. While lacking the eye-popping quality of some, his stats scream of balance. If the defense takes him out of the play, he has the skill to set up his line mates for success. With time at center and on the wing, he has the type of versatility that helps youngsters earn spots on NHL rosters. He is currently ranked #8 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Rankings, and sits #10 in the ISS Rankings. He ranks a lofty #4 at hockeyprospect.com. Here's what NHL Central Scouting thinks of Zacha:
"He's got high-end skill and is an excellent competitor; he plays an excellent two-way game. He's physical and solid on his skates and can separate guys from the puck."- Chris Edwards, NHL Central Scouting
A Good Fit in Columbus?
Zacha is intriguing, in that he seems to have the skills and size to step in and contribute almost immediately. However, I suspect that any organization, including Columbus, would want him to spend a year or two at the AHL level to adjust to North American hockey and the pace of professional play. However, in a Marko Dano fashion, the switch could suddenly go on and he could be a contributor.
So, Zacha would be a good fit, with the sole question whether the organization wants to augment an already deep contingent of very, very young forwards.
Zach in Action