Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney swung a trade for Pavel Zacha this offseason and has made that addition stick around by inking the Czechia forward to a contract extension. Zacha’s new contract is a four-year deal with a cap hit of $4.75 million per season. Overall, this is a good move by Sweeney since it ensures fans that he has a plan for the present and the future.
Czech Forward Pavel Zacha Sticks Around
Sweeney aimed to get younger with his lineup and achieved that with this transaction. Unfortunately, he shipped out center Erik Haula, but the move brought in Zacha. The versatile player can play both center and wing, bringing necessary youth to the lineup. After failing to live up to the hype of being selected sixth overall, a change of scenery has helped the young forward. Furthermore, like other players like Jake DeBrusk, Trent Frederic, and Connor Clifton, Zacha thrived under new head coach Jim Montgomery.
How Zacha’s Deal Impacts the Bruins
Zacha is an excellent addition to the team since he is versatile and can play both center and wing. This move impacts the entire lineup since the futures surrounding Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci remain uncertain. Coincidentally, there will be an upcoming youth movement within Bruins hockey, and management is counting on Zacha to be a piece of that puzzle. Overall, it is good for the team’s outlook on him as a player.
What the New Deal Means for Zacha
This contract extension is excellent for Zacha, who, after displaying inconsistency in his game while in New Jersey, has seized the opportunity to join an Original Six franchise. Furthermore, now that his new contract is in place, he can focus on playing hockey.
Zacha has not been a bad player for the team. He was recently slotted in at center when Krejci was injured but has primarily played wing for most of the season. He’s part of the Czech line along with Krejci and David Pastrnak. The trio has the second-most minutes of any line combination, resulting in possession numbers like 49.03 Corsi For. As a unit, they have the lowest expected goals percentage (45.3%), scoring the most goals with 14, capitalizing on their chances. In addition, seven of those goals have come from the high-danger areas of the ice.
As an individual, Zacha has progressively gotten better with each passing season. He is coming off a career year with 36 points. Zacha has seven goals, 21 assists, and 28 points in his first season in Boston. The best part of this is Zacha is on pace for 53 points (career high) and 13 goals. He has a shooting percentage of 10.3, a CF percentage of 53%, and an on-ice xGF% of 56.4%. Good things happen when he is on the ice as he continues to find ways to impact the game.
Zacha’s deal is an excellent move for the Bruins, helping solidify this team’s present and future. Upon the deal being announced following the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he delivered the next game against the Philadelphia Flyers. On the same day as fellow Czech mate Krejci celebrated his 1000th NHL game, Zacha scored two goals and chipped in an assist. Coincidentally, it was his second multi-point game of the month.