Zacha's familiarity with Boston should make for smooth Bruins transition


Going to a new team often brings with it plenty of challenges, but for Pavel Zacha, there are plenty of reasons to believe he'll make a smooth transition to the Boston Bruins. 

Zacha, whom the Bruins acquired Wednesday via trade from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Erik Haula, already knows a few of his new teammates, including fellow Czech players David Pastrnak and Jakub Zboril.

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"Zboril I basically grew up with. I've known him since I was four years old, so we were like best friends growing up," Zboril said Thursday at his introductory press conference. "We played together until about 13 and then went to the national team together. He texted me right away. It's funny how it played out for us that after 15 years we're getting back playing together. It'll be a lot of fun.

"With Pastrnak, he's only one year older than me. We played on national teams together. We were linemates on the national team. It's great to know a lot of players coming to the team. Everyone has been really nice who I've talked to so far. It's an exciting time for me."

Zacha also is pretty familiar with the Boston area and has spent portions of his last couple offseasons training here. 

"It's great. I know a lot of guys," he said. "I train in the summers here in Boston and stay in the summer, so I know a lot of players, and the Czech players who are on the team, too. Every time I played against them it was a tough team to play here. Being part of it is really exciting for me."

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How did Zacha start training in Boston during the summer?

"When Brian Boyle and Jimmy Hayes played with me (on the Devils), they asked me if I wanted to train with them in Foxboro and stuff," Zacha said. "My girlfriend lived in Needham, so I said, 'OK let's make the summer here. I'm going to try training here.' It worked out really well. I've trained here every summer since then.

"I really like it. I've met a lot of people. It's a big hockey town, so you have a chance to skate with a lot of good players. I like to spend summers here, and it also made it easier now knowing I got traded here. Not a big move for me from already staying here."

The 25-year-old forward also shared that he bought a house in the Boston area last summer, so he won't have to do a huge move and can just live at that place.

Zacha spent his first seven seasons in the Devils organization after being drafted sixth overall in 2015. The move to the Bruins didn't totally catch him by surprise, though. He was prepared for the possibility of a trade happening.

"I was thinking about it a little bit. I got some heads up from my agents about maybe being moved," Zacha said. "I was kinda mentally ready for it to happen. It was the first time in my career (being traded), so I didn't really know what to expect. But in my mind I was a little bit ready for being moved."