Pavel Zacha of the Sarnia Sting was selected sixth overall in the first round of the NHL entry draft last Friday by the New Jersey Devils.
The 6’3”, 210-pound power forward from the Czech Republic had 16 goals and 34 points in 37 games for Sarnia this past season after being the top choice in the CHL import draft last summer. He added two goals and an assist in five playoff games against the Erie Otters.
Zacha missed 31 games due to injuries, two suspensions as well as playing for the home country at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
He becomes the tenth member of the Sting to be drafted in the first round of the NHL draft since the franchise relocated here from Newmarket more than two decades ago.
Zacha is also the fourth player to be taken in the opening round in the past four years. Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk were chosen in the first round of the 2012 proceedings by Edmonton and Montreal respectively, while Anthony DeAngelo was chosen in the first round by Tampa Bay last June.
Meantime, Sting co-owner David Legwand is on the move. The former Plymouth Whaler was dealt to Buffalo along with former Sault Ste. Marie goaltender Robin Lehner from the Ottawa Senators for a first-round pick.
Legwand, the second overall pick in the1998 NHL draft by Nashville, had nine goals and 27 points in 80 games last season with Ottawa.