New Jersey Devils: 5 Players Who Could Surprisingly Get Traded

(Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Pavel Zacha

This one seems improbable, right? Pavel Zacha is a former sixth-overall pick in the NHL Draft. He’s a player the Devils literally just signed to an extension this past offseason. He’s signed for two more years after this one. Also, he’s only 22 years old. How are they going to give up on an asset like that?

Well, for one he’s not showing any improvement. It seems like every single season, he goes crazy over the last three or four weeks of the season. In his last 18 games of last season, he had 14 points, six of which were goals. He looked like he was on the right track, and with him moving to that fourth-line center role, it seemed like he was what made the Devils stacked down the middle. What team in this entire league has a center on the bottom like that was as good as Zacha?

Then, realize he was likely going to play with talented players like Jesper Boqvist, Miles Wood and Wayne Simmonds. This was going to be the year that Zacha broke out.

We all know what happened next. Zacha is getting more assists this year, and is on pace for a career-high 30 points. That’s not bad for a fourth liner. However, that’s not where Zacha’s been playing. Also, he has a career low 5.1% shooting percentage. He’s not scoring, His CF% is the lowest percentage of his career. His PDO is bottoming out (83.3). Things are going terribly in almost every metric. Even the dreaded +/- stat is a career low.

A team will think they can fix Pavel Zacha, just like the Devils thought they could fix Mirco Mueller. Zacha at least has four years of NHL experience and is an elite penalty killer. Someone will give up something valuable for him.