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2015 Draft Profiles: Pavel Zacha

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Our 3rd entry is a good ol' Czech boy with some size, speed, and skill.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Next up in our Draft Profile series is another forward and center, who just finished an impressive first stint in the OHL. Our first non-North-American player hails from the Czech Republic in 18-year-old Pavel Zacha.

Name Origin Age Height Weight Pos. League Avg. Rank
Pavel Zacha Brno, CZE 18 6'3" 214 C/LW OHL 8.8

From Elite Prospects and Curtis Joe...

Pavel Zacha is an offensively dynamic center with the size, speed, and skill to make a significant impact on the game. He can play physical, but is at his best when using his high-end offensive abilities, such as his shot, stickhandling, and footspeed, to generate numbers in the opposition's end of the ice. All-in-all, Zacha is a lethal weapon that can be depended upon to create, and finish, dangerous scoring chances whenever he is on the ice.

an offensively dynamic center with the size, speed, and skill to make a significant impact on the game. He can play physical, but is at his best when using his high-end offensive abilities, such as his shot, stickhandling, and footspeed, to generate numbers in the opposition's end of the ice. All-in-all, Zacha is a lethal weapon that can be depended upon to create, and finish, dangerous scoring chances whenever he is on the ice. - See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=130786#sthash.PbHlEfOD.dpuf
an offensively dynamic center with the size, speed, and skill to make a significant impact on the game. He can play physical, but is at his best when using his high-end offensive abilities, such as his shot, stickhandling, and footspeed, to generate numbers in the opposition's end of the ice. All-in-all, Zacha is a lethal weapon that can be depended upon to create, and finish, dangerous scoring chances whenever he is on the ice. - See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=130786#sthash.PbHlEfOD.dpuf
an offensively dynamic center with the size, speed, and skill to make a significant impact on the game. He can play physical, but is at his best when using his high-end offensive abilities, such as his shot, stickhandling, and footspeed, to generate numbers in the opposition's end of the ice. All-in-all, Zacha is a lethal weapon that can be depended upon to create, and finish, dangerous scoring chances whenever he is on the ice. - See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=130786#sthash.PbHlEfOD.dpuf

First opening eyes in 2011-12, Zacha posted 65 points in 33 games in the Czech U16 league. He also played for the U18 team, adding another 25 points in 36 games against older and tougher competition. The following year, he advanced yet again, scoring 40 points in 39 games for the U20 team.

Last year, Pavel was drafted first overall in the CHL Import Draft--just for reference, current Bruin David Pastrnak was selected 10th overall--and put up 34 points in 37 games for the Sarnia Sting, the former team of current NHLers such as Jakub Voracek, Alex Gachenyuk, and Nail Yakupov. He missed several games due to injuries, suspensions, and the World Juniors, which could drop his stock just slightly. Still, his talent and potential say that he should be out of the Bruins range.

But if he were to somehow fall, he sounds like the kind of kid that the Bruins would idolize, for better or worse. Having the combination of size and skill is something that most if not all teams desire in today's NHL. But Zacha has shown an ability and worthiness to grind out pucks, drive to the net, and get to the dirty areas.

Zacha is perhaps the most NHL ready centre after McDavid and Eichel as he is physically ready to play at the pro level. Zacha plays somewhat of a power game using his size to drive to the net and hold off defenders. He plays a physically aggressive style as evident in his two suspensions. Zacha is not afraid to go into the greasy areas and dig out pucks for himself, rather than rely on teammates to do the dirty work for him. He is an offensively dynamic player with a hard shot and a quick release. A high energy player with an equally high compete level that could graduate to the NHL next season.

While some have PZ listed as high as 4th, other ranks show him as low as 13th. And most mock drafts currently have him going to either the Flyers (7th), Avalanche (10th), or Kings (13th). Even though their biggest current need is defensive, if Zacha were to fall to the Bruins at 14, it'd be a tough choice to not pick him up.