New Jersey Devils Pavel Zacha Has Superstar Potential
Rookies in the NHL aren’t all just going to be like Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, who from his first shift you could tell that he would be a generational talent. It takes time for rookies to develop and New Jersey Devils sixth overall pick Pavel Zacha is right on schedule.
Things haven’t come easy for Zacha as after he had a solid junior season with the OHL Sarnia Sting his transition into the NHL has had some ups and downs. We can all see the potential that Zacha has with his stick work and the way he controls the puck is something the Devils haven’t seen from on of their own in a while.
Zacha’s Gaining Confidence
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Confidence is an amazing thing and for Zacha it was clear that for portions of the first half he didn’t have much of it. But for a string of nine-ten games now his confidence is grown and because of that, his play on the ice has improved.
Not only confidence but also chemistry can play a huge factor in what happens on the ice. The connection he’s made with Jacob Josefson has been great for not only Zacha but for Josefson as well. They’ve both played at a higher level ever since they’ve been paired together, and after five-six games of coming close, they’re finally putting the puck in the net.
From there everything can just snowball. You add in the addition of Stefan Noesen, who had something to prove himself and you have three guys playing with a ton of confidence while making each other better players.
Trusting the Process
Zacha is the first major piece of the Ray Shero rebuild and he needs to set an example for a prospect like Michael McLeod, who the Devils took 12th in last years draft. From there it’s back to snowball for all the other forward prospects in the system.
John Hynes is bringing Zacha along very well by slowing putting him on the power play and giving him more responsibilities. He’s also done the right thing by making Zacha a healthy scratch at times, but what Hynes is great at is making it all about the learning process.
Everything Zacha does under Hynes is something Hynes knows he could do better in, which is why I have total confidence that Hynes and the coaching staff can develop Zacha into a bonafide top-six forward with first-line potential.
So sure, Zacha will probably never be like Connor McDavid, but nobody is asking him to be. However, what we are asking is for him to keep developing, keep getting better, and keep gaining confidence. Just trust the process and before long we’ll have another superstar in New Jersey.