New Jersey Devils Top-10 prospects under 24

Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images) /

6. Pavel Zacha (22), Center/Wing, 2015 1st round (6th overall)

I’ve done a few stories on Pavel Zacha the past several months. They focus on how he hasn’t lived up to his status as the sixth overall pick of the 2015 draft. To use an analogy to describe his career, Zacha has the complete six-pack when it comes to individual talents. Unfortunately, the plastic piece that holds it all together is nowhere to be found.

Zacha has a rare combination of size, skill, and speed, he hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of his potential. The 6-3, 210 pound forward has been given plenty of opportunities to succeed and has failed to capitalize on them thus far. As hard as it is to believe, at only 22-years-old, the Czech is probably on his last chance to make a splash with the Devils this summer. A change of scenery may be just the thing to save his career.

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Michael McLeod, New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

5. Michael McLeod (21) Center, 2016 1st round (12th overall)

The former 2016 first-round pick could have placed anywhere between five and eight on this list. It depends on what the main driver of the ratings is. Michael McLeod won’t be a big-time scorer for the Devils. Although he has some good offensive abilities, it’s his strong two-way game that will get him to and keep him in the NHL.

He makes crisp passes and has a good shot. What stands out, is the way McLeod plays the game. The centerman is one of those all-out hustle players who can use the full 200 feet to his advantage. McLeod is just as comfortable taking the puck away from an opponent and digging in the corners as he is shooting at the net.

With all the talent New Jersey currently has up front, the Mississauga, Ontario native looks like he’s headed for a third-line role. Additionally, he should also wind up with a letter on his sweater a few years after breaking into the lineup.