The Minnesota Wild saw many of their young prospects have a big hand in helping them return to the playoffs this season. Charlie Coyle, Jonas Brodin and Jason Zucker all saw significant time with the Wild, while making their respective cases for full-time roster spots in the future. Zucker saw the least amount of time with the Wild among those three players, but scored some pretty big goals for the team.
Zucker’s game-winning goal in overtime of game three in the first round of the playoffs gave the Wild their only win of their series against the Chicago Blackhawks. He finished the series with two points in five games, and was shown a lot of trust from the coaching staff by getting big minutes in important situations. He scored four goals during the regular season while appearing in 20 games, which isn’t bad production for a player in his first full season of professional hockey.
While with the Houston Aeros of the AHL this season, Zucker was an All-Star while scoring 24 goals and hitting 50 points in just 55 games. He bounced between Houston and Minnesota a few times during the season, but should be more than able to compete for a roster spot in training camp next season. While it would be hard to give him anything higher than a “B” grade for this season, don’t be surprised if Zucker has a much bigger impact next season – the fact that the Wild called him up multiple times when they were stuck in scoring slumps shows how much faith they have in his offensive potential.