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Devils prospect Pavel Zacha won't be rushed at camp

Forward, along with Joseph Blandisi, recovering from injury, won't partake in on-ice drills

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forwards Joseph Blandisi and Pavel Zacha will not participate in any of the on-ice drills during development camp this week at Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center.

Blandisi, who had five goals and 17 points in 41 games with the Devils last season, has a swollen ankle. Zacha, selected No. 6 in the 2015 NHL Draft and expected to compete for a spot in the lineup this season, is recovering from a hip pointer he sustained late last season.

Each is expected to be ready for training camp in September.

"My feet just don't fit into the skates right now," Blandisi said. "I need to get new skates, but the factory that makes the skates is closed this week. My feet became swollen over the course of last year, just some buildup in there, after a long season. I just need new skates and I'll be fine. I feel good, nothing hurts. I should be 100 percent for training camp … so long as the skates are ready."

Zacha had 28 goals and 64 points in 51 games for Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League last season. He also had one goal and three points in three regular-season games with Albany of the American Hockey League, and had one goal and three points in five AHL playoff games.

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Zacha made his NHL debut for the Devils on April 9 and had two assists in a 5-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"Zacha won't skate, but it's just precautionary," Devils coach John Hynes said. "It's one of those situations, similar to Blandisi, where it's July and he has a little bit of an issue. There's no need to push it. [Zacha] is here, he's working out and doing his thing with the team. That's a huge part of the camp. Ice is important but not the primary importance of the camp."

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