New Jersey Devils: 5 Things We Learned About This Roster In 2020-21

Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37): (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /

Pavel Zacha Isn’t A Complete Bust

Speaking of Zacha, it’s nice to see that the Devils didn’t take a sixth-overall pick and light it on fire. Is everyone going to be happy with taking him over the likes of Kyle Connor, Mat Barzal, or Zach Werenski? Of course not, but he showed this season that he’s absolutely a piece that can help this team win moving forward. His prowess on special teams is an asset, and he can put up some points at 5v5 when paired with the right center.

Zacha led the team in points for most of the season. He was one of the few players actually performing on the power play. His 11 points in 50 games amount to 18 in an 82-game regular season. It’s fine, even if it isn’t spectacular. He was on pace for 57 total points if this were an 82-game season.

If the Devils have a 50-point player in Zacha, they will rejoice. Before this season, he looked like an elite penalty killer with very little offensive upside. He could go on a run where he scored four points in three games, but outside those bursts, the offense just wasn’t there. It was different this season. He was scoring all season long. He even added clutch scoring, putting in two goals in overtime.

Zacha might not be someone who’s “worth” the sixth-overall pick, but he’s definitely not a bust. When looking at previous sixth-overall picks, there are a lot of “fine” players (Hampus Lindholm, Sean Monahan, and Jake Virtanen). Zacha could be one of those players that takes another step forward, but we’re just fine if this is what he is.