LBC Mock Draft: Pavel Zacha goes ninth overall to the San Jose Sharks

The Sharks add an offensive player with some bite in Pavel Zacha.

After a disappointing season that saw the San Jose Sharks miss the playoffs for the first time in a decade, the team will look to add to an already solid roster with the ninth overall pick. Talented options at forward abound here, leaving the NHL's Bay Area denizens in an enviable position.

With the ninth selection in the 2015 Litter Box Cats Mock Draft, the San Jose Sharks select:

Pavel Zacha - C Sarnia Sting

Pavel Zacha is a 18-year-old native of the Czech Republic with good size and speed. After splitting time in both the Extraliga and the second division First League in 2013-14, he came to North America and played this past season in the OHL with Sarnia Sting after being chosen first overall in the CHL import draft. Zacha only played in 37 games due to some injury problems and a couple of suspensions, but showed off his offensive ability by compiling 34 points on 16 goals and 18 assists while racking up 56 PIM. In the playoffs, the youngster scored twice and added an assist in Sarnia's five-game, first round playoff defeat to Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters.

Zacha is highly-regarded in his homeland and has represented his country six times internationally, including the last two World Junior Championship tournaments. In 2014, he went scoreless in 5 games, but found the back of the net once this year and added a helper (in 5 games) as his team finished in sixth place again. His numbers in the Czech pro leagues are pretty impressive for a young skater playing against men. With the Extraliga's HC Bili Tygri Liberec, he scored 8 points (4G/4A) in 38 regular season games. In 12 First League tilts playing for HC Benatky nad Jizerou, Zacha excelled, putting up 9 points on 4 goals and 5 assists.

EliteProspects Curtis Joe had this to say about Zacha:

Pavel Zacha is an offensively dynamic center with the size, speed, and skill to make a significant impact on the game. He can play physical, but is at his best when using his high-end offensive abilities, such as his shot, stickhandling, and footspeed, to generate numbers in the opposition's end of the ice. All-in-all, Zacha is a lethal weapon that can be depended upon to create, and finish, dangerous scoring chances whenever he is on the ice.

The Sharks, a team that is always looking for the size and speed combo, are a good landing spot for Zacha as they play a style that fits his game to a tee. Currently deep at center, San Jose and new coach Peter DeBoer could shift him to the wing for his first few pro seasons, until Joe Thornton and/or Patrick Marleau depart, and then move him back to the middle once a center spot opens up on the top two lines. With the quantity and quality of forwards still on the board, the Sharks could easily go a different direction here, leaving the edgy Zacha as a possibility for the Florida Panthers at eleven, if Tallon & Co. feel he could produce at wing, and if Colorado doesn't grab him at ten. This is a player that Florida fans might want to keep an eye on leading up to, and on draft day.

The Colorado Avalanche are on the clock. While you wait check out some video on Zacha: