Jason Zucker may not have spent much time in the NHL yet, but he is sure making his mark for the Minnesota Wild this season. In just four games with the Wild this season, Zucker has scored two goals while seeing second line time with Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi. Zucker was a second round draft pick of the Wild in 2010 after two seasons of playing for the U.S. National Under-18 Team. He went on to play two seasons at the University of Denver (45 goals and 91 points in 78 games) before turning pro last season. In six appearances for the Wild at the end of the 2011-12 campaign, he had two assists.
During the lockout Zucker was an AHL All-Star for the Houston Aeros. In 47 games he scored 19 goals and registered 41 points. He is one of four Aeros making an impact with the team this season as Charlie Coyle, Darcy Kuemper and Mikael Granlund all began the 2012-13 season in Houston. Coyle is seeing top-line time and has one goal, Granlund has a goal and six points and Kuemper is 1-1 with a 2.02 goals against average after taking over for Josh Harding as the back-up to Niklas Backstrom.
Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise continue to lead the Wild offensively, but the presence of youngsters like Zucker and Coyle is letting other veterans know that their jobs may be in jeopardy if they don’t perform. If Zucker continues to perform this well, it will be very hard for the Wild to send him back down to Houston this season. A well-stocked system full of young talent also hints at a very promising future for the Wild.