One of the more surprising cuts that the Minnesota Wild made heading into the regular season was sending down Jason Zucker to the team’s AHL affiliate. Zucker had a solid run with the Wild last year, and appeared destined for a secondary role heading into the 2013-14 year.
That didn’t happen, and Zucker was sent down. He’ll get an early chance at grabbing a spot, though, as he’s already been recalled from the Iowa Wild. That chance came when breakout candidate Charlie Coyle went down with a knee injury that will keep him out up to a month.
Through one game, it remains to be seen what type of role Zucker will see consistently with the Wild as he tries to stick this time around. Remaining with Mikael Granlund, with whom he has developed good chemistry over the course of the preseason. Each represents a player that needs a strong start for the Wild.
In the case of Zucker, though, we know the talent is there. He’s not going to be an elite level player, but is the type of guy you could throw on any line and watch him find success. He’s a forward that can play well in his own end, though his defensive play is a bit ahead of what he can do on the stat sheet.
Nonetheless, Zucker projects as an energy guy that brings some skill to the table. He’s a player that does figure into the future plans for the Wild. He was the final cut in training camp, and it was only a matter of time before he got his opportunity to return. He now has that opportunity, it’s on Zucker to take advantage of it.