Forensics: Can Travis Zajac Bounce Back?

Tom Collins

2013-08-15

 

TravisZajac USA Today

 

 

Should poolies expect Travis Zajac to bounce back after a tough couple of years in New Jersey?

 

 

Last year, Travis Zajac signed a massive contract extension that would see him get an average of $5.75 million a year for eight years.

 

At the time, life was pretty good. Gone to the Stanley Cup playoffs the previous year, he probably figured he would spend the majority of that contract playing with the likes of David Clarkson and Ilya Kovalchuk, his top two linemates last season in New Jersey.

 

A little more than a year later, and Zajac has lost both of them before his contract has even kicked in.

 

Now he's the go-to guy in New Jersey being forced to play with new linemates as the Devils try to recover from the loss of three 30-goal scorers when you include Zach Parise.

 

Zajac's most frequent linemates in 2011-12 (although he played in 15 games due to a torn Achilles tendon), according to Frozen Pools:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

31.3%