Pavel Zacha – New Jersey Devils
Since being taken 6th overall in 2015, it’s safe to say Zacha has not lived up to his billing. While he’s been a passable defensive forward, his offense is woefully inadequate for a player picked so high, as in four full seasons he’s totalled 37 goals, only topping 10 once. Zacha is still fairly young, but at 23 time is quickly running out for him to even come close to realizing his potential.
Unlike Colin Miller in Buffalo, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of New Jersey giving up on him. He’s only one year through a three year extension and will still be an RFA when it expires, so there’s no rush for them to pull the plug. That contract, however, was signed when the Devils were hoping to compete this season and before they traded Taylor Hall to Arizona. New Jersey is in an interesting spot as they still have young prospects from their rebuild, but have also embarked on a new quasi-rebuild. Zacha may not be on the trading block, but he could be worth watching in case he gets squeezed out by younger, more promising players.