Jason Zucker
Jason Zucker
29-Year-Old Left WingLW
Pittsburgh Penguins
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Zucker never really found his groove last season and missing 18 games with a lower-body injury didn't help. He scored nine goals and 18 points over 38 games with 69 hits and a minus-8 rating. His average ice time of 15:41 and 0.47 points-per-game were both his lowest marks over the last four years. The veteran winger also scored just four power-play points. Nonetheless, Zucker still has a fairly tight grip on his second-line role and should post better numbers if both he and Evgeni Malkin stay healthy in 2021-22. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract extension with the Wild in July of 2018. Traded to the Penguins in February of 2020.
Two points in series finale
LWPittsburgh Penguins
May 26, 2021
Zucker registered a goal and an assist with four shots and five hits in Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Islanders in Game 6.
ANALYSIS
Zucker deflected a Cody Ceci point shot less than two minutes into the second period to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead. He also picked up an assist on Jeff Carter's goal that opened the scoring 1:27 into the game. Zucker finished the series with two goals, one assist and 12 shots in six games.
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NHL Stats
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2019
2018
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2016
2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    15:41
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    1:19
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:02
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
17:05
2:14
0:11
2019–20
15:54
2:19
0:08
2019–20
17:40
2:10
0:02
2020–21
15:41
1:19
0:02
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Penguins Power Play Depth Chart
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2018
2017
2016
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2010
Heading into the 2019-20 campaign, general manager Jim Rutherford tried to bring in Zucker as part of the Phil Kessel deal that was ultimately vetoed by Kessel. Eventually, Rutherford got his man and was able to bring Zucker to Pittsburgh to play with Evgeni Malkin on the second line. The speedy winger impressed in limited action with 12 points in 15 regular-season contests before adding two goals in the Penguins' short postseason stay in the bubble. The Californian figures to be a lock to link up with Geno again this season and could be one of the best wingers to ever slot into that spot for the Pens. As such, it wouldn't be a shock to see Zucker maintain a .80 point per game pace in 2020-21, and he'll likely get some opportunities to produce with the man advantage on the No. 2 unit, too.
The 27-year-old perhaps had a lot on his mind last season, as his point total dropped to 42 compared to his 64 the year before. Zucker was the subject of trade rumors up until the trade deadline, and continues to hear his name circulate, most notably in the recent Phil Kessel talks this offseason. As of now, he's still a threat to produce at least 20 goals in a season, as he's accomplished that feat four of the past five years. The speedy winger could still be moved before the season, but there's still plenty of room for him to have an impactful campaign in the State of Hockey if sticks around.
A second-round pick in 2010, Zucker put everything together last season, racking up career highs nearly across the board and seeing significant acton on the power play for the first time. His speed and sniper's instincts made him an excellent match on the opposite wing from Mikael Granlund, and the 26-year-old was rewarded for his breakout with a five-year contract extension in the summer. The duo figure to form the core of the Wild attack for the foreseeable future, and with his early-career injury issues seemingly behind him -- he played a full 82-game schedule for the first time in 2017-18 -- Zucker should settle in as a consistent threat for 30 goals and 60 points.
Zucker is coming off his finest NHL season yet, having set new personal bests across the board -- 22 goals, 25 assists, 172 shots and a whopping plus-34 rating -- and there are plenty of signs that more growth is on the horizon. After all, 46 of his 47 points last year came at even strength, as Zucker saw practically no time on Minnesota’s special-teams units; he averaged only 15 seconds on the power play thanks to being stuck behind a number of other talented wingers. A second-round pick in 2010, the 25-year-old won't be mistaken for one of the league’s biggest or most highly skilled forwards, but he's performed admirably at every level of hockey; the biggest obstacle in his way is the Wild’s forward depth, which may leave his average ice time in the 15-minute range and his power-play time negligible once again. If that’s indeed the case, it'll be hard for him to build on last year’s production.
Zucker put up his first nearly full NHL campaign last season, but it was an underwhelming one – despite playing 20 more games than the year before with a slight increase in ice time, he notched three fewer points. Still, there aren’t too many 24-year-olds with 20-goal seasons in their back pockets, and Zucker showed plenty of scoring ability in college as well as the AHL. The question will be whether he ends up on the second or third line – that’ll be the difference between him having a shot at 50 points versus ending up around 30.
Very quietly, Zucker showed last season that he's one of the league's better young snipers. The winger needed just 51 games to accumulate 21 goals, which prorates out to 33 tallies over an 82-game schedule. Zucker only chipped in five assists on top of the goals, but so long as he continues to exhibit a nose for the net, the Wild won't ask him to change his style. Though he averaged 15 minutes of ice time last season, Zucker saw only limited opportunities on special teams. However, it wouldn't be surprising if Zucker goal-scoring prowess prompts coach Mike Yeo to deploy him on the power play more frequently in 2015-16. That could be enough for him to improve on last season's goal mark, though he'll likely lose some efficiency after charting a 16.9 percent shooting rate, the 11th-highest mark in the league.
Zucker has explosive speed, a great shot and big upside. Unfortunately, there's just as much downside. He's a player who has been touted as a top prospect for Minnesota for too long for him to have not yet delivered. His 2013-14 season was cut short by injury and now the Wild's top-six is clogged with guys who are better than him. If he gets a roster spot, he'll likely be on the fourth line to start. Honestly, we'd prefer to see him developing into a better-rounded player in the AHL than struggling in limited moments on the team's bottom line. If he does stick in Minny, Zucker will likely deliver 10 goals and 20 points.
Zucker will compete for a job on a top-three line with the Wild after another strong season in the minors where he was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team, scoring 50 points in 55 games. Zucker is a great skater, but may project as a checking forward at the NHL level despite his AHL success.
Minnesota used its second-round (59th overall) draft pick of 2010 on Zucker, a skilled speedster with first-rate skating ability. He's worked on his game with the U.S. National Development Team, and in 2010-11 notched 45 points (23 G, 22 A) and 59 penalty minutes as a freshman for the University of Denver. Just 19 years old, Zucker has a ways to go before he'll be included in the NHL conversation.
Zucker was Minnesota's second round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The Las Vegas native has played for the U.S. Junior National Team and he is one of only two U.S. players to win three gold medals in one calendar year. The LW is a versatile player, who can play on any line and play any role on a team. He's committed to the University of Denver for fall of 2010.
More Fantasy News
Snipes first of series
LWPittsburgh Penguins
May 20, 2021
Zucker registered a goal on his only shot in Thursday's 5-4 win over the Islanders in Game 3.
ANALYSIS
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Offers two assists
LWPittsburgh Penguins
May 6, 2021
Zucker managed two assists, three shots on goal and two PIM in Thursday's 8-4 win over the Sabres.
ANALYSIS
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Goals in consecutive games
LWPittsburgh Penguins
May 4, 2021
Zucker scored a goal on two shots in Tuesday's 7-3 win over the Flyers.
ANALYSIS
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Halts goal-scoring skid
LWPittsburgh Penguins
May 3, 2021
Zucker scored a power-play goal on two shots in a 7-2 loss to the Flyers on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Strong effort in victory
LWPittsburgh Penguins
April 25, 2021
Zucker amassed an assist, five PIM and six shots on goal Saturday in a 4-2 win over the Devils.
ANALYSIS
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