Heading into the 2013-14 season, there is plenty of reason for optimism surrounding the Minnesota Wild. Not only have they managed to add three marquee players in less than one calendar year, but the 2013 season saw quite a few young players make their way to the club.
Those young players will be relied upon in different amounts. Players like Jonas Brodin are already clearly part of the core group of this team and log heavy minutes. Other players will be looked at as role players and sources of secondary scoring, such as Jason Zucker.
Zucker had some ups and down in his first season with the Wild, which included plenty of being sent up and down. He played only 20 games with the Wild, but not all of that was due to him cutting his teeth for the Houston Aeros. Some of that time was spent injured, after he took a shoulder to the dome, courtesy of Corey Perry.
He finished the regular season with only five points in the 20 games he did appear in, but was a big time offensive threat in his 55 games with the Aeros. He finished the year with 50 points down in the AHL, 24 of them being goals. As the season went on, he began to see an increased role with the Wild.
Zucker saw some serious minutes for the Wild during the postseason. He was able to create scoring chances, and was responsible for giving the Wild their only win of their first round series. He scored in overtime of Game 3 to help the Wild cut their deficit to 2-1, though they ultimately lost the series in five games.
With his combination of speed and versatility, Zucker is a guy that can contribute in a lot of ways for the Minnesota Wild. They’ve played him in different types of situations, and it’s pretty clear that they could use him as a utility man of sorts of they wanted to. He has an excellent shot, which the Wild are hoping will provide some secondary scoring for their sometimes inconsistent offense.