Jason Zucker
Image: NHL

Jason Zucker

Hometown:

Las Vegas Nevada

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-01-16

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2010

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

2nd round (59th overall), 2010

Weight:

174 lbs.

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History

2008-09: Jason Zucker played for the US NTDP Under-17 squad.  In 36 games vs. NAHL competition, Zucker scored 11 goals and added 4 assists for 15 points to go along with 55 penalty minutes.  In 16 games against vs. other competition, Zucker scored 2 goals and added 6 assists for 8 points.  Advanced for his age, Zucker was part of Team USA’s gold medal-winning Under-18 World Junior Championship team.

2009-10: Zucker played for the US NTDP Under-18 team.  In 22 games vs. USHL competition, he scored 11 goals and added 7 assists for 18 points.  Against other competition, Zucker scored 18 goals and added 17 assists in 38 games.  Zucker won two more gold medals this season, one with Team USA’s Under-20 squad at the 2010 World Junior Championships, and the other his second consecutive gold at the Under-18 World Juniors.

2010-11: Zucker skated in 40 of 42 games for the University of Denver as a freshman and played for the bronze medal-winning United States team that hosted the 2011 U20 World Junior Championship. Zucker was the second-leading scorer for the Pioneers, scoring 23 goals with 22 assists and was +23 with 59 PMs, and was named the WCHA’s Rookie of the Year. Denver finished second in the WCHA and lost to league champion North Dakota in the WCHA and NCAA Midwest Regional final games. Zucker scored one goal in four games for Team USA, missing time after receiving an illegal hit from Slovakia’s Martin Marincin (EDM).

2011-12: Zucker made his pro hockey debut with the Wild in March after signing a three-year entry-level contract with Minnesota following his sophomore season at Denver. He had 2 assists and was minus-two with 2 penalty minutes in six games for the Wild. Zucker was the second-leading scorer for Denver during the college season and skated for the USA in the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. He scored 22 goals with 46 assists and was plus-five with 38 penalty minutes in 38 games for the Pioneers. After finishing third in the WCHA, Denver reached the WCHA tournament championship game and faced Ferris State in the NCAA Midwest Region semifinals. Zucker was the second-leading scorer for seventh-place USA at the WJC, finishing with 3 goals and 4 assists in six games and was plus-one with 2 penalty minutes.

2012-13: Zucker skated in 20 regular season games and all five playoff games for Minnesota in his first pro season and was the second-leading scorer for Wild AHL affiliate Houston. He was called up by the Wild in mid-February and scored a goal in his first game on February 17th against Detroit. Zucker scored 4 goals with 1 assists and was +4 with 8 penalty minutes in the regular season and had 1 goal with 1 assist in five playoff games in the series against eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago. He scored 24 goals with 26 assists and was -6 with 43 penalty minutes in 55 AHL games. The Aeros were fourth in the South Division and lost to Grand Rapids in the first round of the playoffs. Zucker was scoreless with 4 penalty minutes in one playoff game.

2013-14:  Zucker shuffled between Minnesota and AHL affiliate Iowa in his second pro season — suffering a leg injury in January that hampered him in the second half and eventually required season-ending surgery in March. He scored 4 goals with 1 assist in 21 NHL games and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes; averaging 13 minutes of ice time per game with the Wild. Zucker scored 8 goals with 5 assists and was minus-8 with 55 penalty minutes in 22 AHL games with Iowa. Four of his eight goals were scored on the power play. Zucker signed a two-year contract with Minnesota in July 2014. 

Talent Analysis

Zucker is very versatile; capable of playing on a scoring or a checking line. He is a much better shooter than puckhandler. Zucker uses his speed to get to a lot of pucks.

Future

Zucker made the Wild lineup out of training camp to start the 2014-15 season and has been a sniper for Minnesota. The other areas of his game must continue to develop if he is to play in a top-six role on a consistent basis. Zucker is among the leading goal scorers for the Wild but his positional play is sometimes inconsistent and he needs to get stronger to be fully effective.

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