The Boston Bruins haven’t made many moves this off-season, and besides a few free agent signings, they made a trade sending Erik Haula to the Devils for Pavel Zacha. The move was an effect to get better down the middle and by acquiring Zacha, the Bruins did just that.
Who is Pavel Zacha and what can he do for Boston?
Pavel Zacha was drafted 6th overall in the 2015 draft by the New Jersey Devils and for quite some time while he was in their system, he didn’t look so great which made a lot of Devils fans wondering if he was going to be the next draft bust of their organization.
On a positive note for Zacha, he’s stepped it up over the past two seasons in New Jersey and besides the overall performance of the team, Zacha still found ways to show he was better than people had originally thought.
Being a center is key for him being in the Bruins lineup as it might start to look thin over the next few years and what’s better for Zacha is he can play in a lot of different situations on the ice and that is something that makes him super valuable to the team.
I think it’s reasonable to think that he could make a solid impact on the 2nd line with Jake DeBrusk and Taylor Hall and also the powerplay since he has a great shot and getting and taking shots on the powerplay is important to having success in that category which we saw in the playoffs last year as the Bruins struggled to get going on the powerplay.
The center situation in Boston kind of remains fluid however with the unknowns of Patrice Bergeron who is still technically a free agent but has been linked to being back in Boston, in fact, it has been said that Bergeron reached out to Zacha after the trade to welcome him to the team and was excited to get to know him.
What could Pavel Zacha’s next contract look like?
When the Bruins acquired Zacha from New Jersey, the forward is currently listed as a restricted free agent, which means he can only exclusively talk contract with the Bruins unless, of course, some other team in the league decides to toss out an offer sheet which at this point seems unlikely because Zach and the Bruins have been in contract talks.
If I had to guess here, it would be a multi-year deal in the $3-$3.5 million range for AAV and I feel that the Bruins would’ve only traded for him based on the certain fact that they could sign him and still have cap room left which could be used to bring back Patrice Bergeron and also save some cap for down the road to ink superstar and fellow Czech native David Pastrnak to a long-term deal.