Jason Zucker
Jason Zucker
27-Year-Old Left WingLW
Minnesota Wild
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract extension in July of 2018.
Returns to ice
LWMinnesota Wild
March 16, 2019
Zucker (leg) retook the ice after missing seven minutes of action Saturday, Chad Graff of The Athletic Minnesota reports.
Given how gruesome the injury looked and with Zucker needing help to leave the ice, his return after such a short period of time is surprising. Fortunately, his testing must have come back clean and the 27-year-old winger was able to shake it off. It may be worth keeping an eye out in the event something more comes of it after the game, but, for the time being, consider Zucker good to go moving forward.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Helped to locker room
LWMinnesota Wild
March 16, 2019
Zucker required assistance leaving to the locker room during the second period of Saturday's game with an apparent right leg or ankle injury, Chad Graff of The Athletic Minnesota reports.
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Hats off for second time in career
LWMinnesota Wild
March 7, 2019
Zucker scored all three Minnesota goals in Thursday's 3-0 win over Tampa Bay.
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Extends point streak with goal
LWMinnesota Wild
March 3, 2019
Zucker scored his 17th goal of the season in Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Predators.
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On four-game point streak
LWMinnesota Wild
March 2, 2019
Zucker contributed an assist in Saturday's 4-2 win over the Flames.
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Scores first goal in February
LWMinnesota Wild
February 24, 2019
Zucker opened the scoring in Sunday's 2-1 overtime win over the Blues.
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