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Projecting Pavel Zacha's next contract with the New Jersey Devils

July 20, 2019, 9:55 AM ET [21 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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Earlier this off-season I took a closer look at EvolvingWild's contract projections as pertaining to the New Jersey Devils.

They had Pavel Zacha penciled in for a two-year deal worth $2.06 million per season. I opined that was fair for someone who, despite his faults, scored at a 17-goal pace last season and provided high-end play on the penalty kill.

As more time passes, and we see what comparable players are asking for and receiving, I've become more confident Zacha's contract will look eerily similar to the projection. And it should.

Take Brock McGinn and Andrew Copp, for example.

McGinn put up 26 points and skated a regular shift on the PK for the Carolina Hurricanes. His ask in arbitration is for $2.7 million while the Hurricanes are coming in at $1.75 million, according to Elliotte Friedman.

Copp registered 25 points (in 69 games) and skated a regular shift on the PK for the Winnipeg Jets. His ask in arbitration is for $2.9 million. The team ask is $1.5 million, per Friedman.

Quick math suggests McGinn will get $2.25 million, and Copp will come in at $2.2M, if each party meets in the middle. Update: McGinn and the Hurricanes (mostly) met in the middle.

On the surface $2.06 million might seem a tad low considering Zacha averaged more points per game than either player. It doesn't when comparing 5v5 efficiency in terms of generating points, shots, and scoring chances.

Considering McGinn and Copp also have arbitration rights, while Zacha does not, it makes sense for them to cost a little more.

When all is said and done I'd be surprised if Zacha doesn't sign a short-term bridge deal for ~2 million per season.

numbers via naturalstattrick.com

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