Pavel Zacha: Colorado Avalanche Draft Prospect 2015


Pavel Zacha, Colorado Avalanche draft prospect 2015

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The 2014-15 season was unfortunately cut short for the Colorado Avalanche. That means that here at Mile High Sticking, we have a long off-season ahead of us. While the off-season is filled with all different kinds of articles, regarding the playoffs (that we are unfortunately not a part of), Avalanche season reviews, and many other things, it also gives us time to focus on the Colorado Avalanche 2015 NHL Draft.

So, let’s look at an aggressive, big, speedy center that I’m willing to bet head coach Patrick Roy has already reviewed — Pavel Zacha.

Pavel Zacha, Avalanche Draft Prospect

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Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’3″, 210 pounds

Team: Sarnia Sting



Pro comparison: Milan Lucic, Petr Nedved

NHL-potential: Top-six, 20 to 25 goals

Risk: 2.5/5 Reward: 4.5/5

Draft Range: 6 to 14

Scouting Report

Pavel Zacha is a power forward. He grew up idolizing fellow Czech Petr Nedved, but I call him more of a Milan Lucic because he is one mean mudder on the ice. He had to serve two suspensions for questionable hits last season. This isn’t a desirable trait, but it does show how physical he’s willing to be.

Zacha is no goon, though. He’s a speedy center with a sniper’s shot. According to the Hockey Writer’s War Room, he has a phenomenal wrist shot and accurate one timer. He also features a shoot first, ask questions later mentality.

Sarnia’s coach, Trevor Letowski said of Pavel Zacha:

"“He’s the type of player who wants it—wants it so bad. He wants to be a difference-maker. To score that big goal.”"

Zacha may have worked on his physical game, but he still showcases the elite skills of a Czech player. He’s adept at making tape-to-tape passes and deking and dangling around opponents. Witness:

Pavel Zacha is a power forward with European finesse and a lot of upside. He could transition into the NHL his first year.

Fit with the Colorado Avalanche

Pavel Zacha is big. He’s speedy. He’s physical. Head coach Patrick Roy has stated he values those qualities. That’s why I’ve said he’s sure to have looked at Zacha and given him some consideration.

One thing that could give coach Roy and GM Joe Sakic pause is Zacha’s penchant for injuries. He missed a lot of last season with a nagging upper body injury. Avs management is sure to be gun shy about injuries after the ridiculous 2014-15 season in which the team broke its own record and was second in the entire NHL for man games lost due to injury.

Nonetheless, a big, fast, physical winger could be an immediate asset to the third line as he works up toward the top-six. Zacha might have to spend some time “curing” down in San Antonio with the Avalanche new AHL-affiliate, especially to work on his defensive game. However, big, strong and speedy is the exact direction coach Roy envisions the team going. Avalanche management is likely looking at Pavel Zacha — especially since Zacha seems to have a bit of a mean streak.

Some rankings have him going as high as fourth and as low as 28th. If Pavel Zacha is still available for the Colorado Avalanche’s #10 pick, I don’t know that they’re going to be able to resist him.

Next: Top RFA Defensemen for the Avs

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