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Devils Take Zacha With 6th Pick In Draft; Isles Trade Up For Barzal, Beauvillier

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New general manager Ray Shero is delivering on his promise to make the struggling New Jersey Devils a more exciting team.

The Devils filled a big need on offense Friday night, taking Czech center Pavel Zacha with the sixth pick overall in the NHL draft.

Zacha has all the tools to help the Devils get back to the playoffs after missing them the past three seasons and four of five. He is big (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), an excellent skater, he can find the net and he can play two-way hockey. He had 16 goals and 18 assists in 37 games for the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League.

Zacha also plays with an edge. He was suspended twice in the juniors, once for slew-footing an opponent and again for a boarding penalty.

"I think I am physical and I intend to work hard this summer and in training camp and we'll see if I can play in the NHL next year," Zacha said in a telephone interview from the draft in Sunrise, Fla. "I'll do everything I can."

Zacha played 38 games for Liberec in the Czech Republic's top League in 2013-14. He also represented his country in the world junior tournament.

The Devils have drafted a forward with five of its last six first-round selections: John Quenneville (2014), Stefan Matteau (2012), Jacob Josefson (2009) and Mattias Tedenby (2008). Defenseman Adam Larsson (2011) was the exception (First-round picks in 2010 and 2013 were traded).

Shero, who replaced Lou Lamoriello after the season, was not immediately available for comment.

The Devils also traded the 41st pick and a third-rounder in 2016 to Anaheim for Kyle Palmieri.


The New York Islanders found a way to get back into the first round, trading 21-year-old prospect Griffin Reinhart -- the fourth overall pick in 2012 -- to Edmonton for the 16th selection and an early second-rounder. The Isles selected center Mathew Barzal from the Western Hockey League's Seattle Thunderbirds.

The 18-year-old Barzal had 57 points (12 goals, 45 assists) in 44 games for the Thunderbirds last season.

The Islanders later traded the 33rd pick acquired from the Oilers and the 72nd overall selection to Tampa for another first-rounder at No. 28, where they took winger Anthony Beauvillier. Beauvillier, who turned 18 earlier this month, led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Shawinigan Cataractes in goals (42), assists (52) and points (94) last season.

The New York Rangers didn't have a first-round pick. Backup goalie Cam Talbot remains with the team heading into Day 2 of the draft despite intense trade speculation.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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