SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed forward Jason Zucker (pronounced ZOOKER) to an entry-level contract. Zucker will join the team on Wednesday and be available to the media following the Wild’s 11 am practice at Xcel Energy Center.
“After two successful seasons at the University of Denver, Jason, his representation, and Wild management have agreed that it was the right time for Jason to turn pro,” said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. “He has achieved great personal success in a short period of time at both the collegiate and national team levels. We are very excited to have Jason under contract and look forward to seeing his development within the Wild organization.”
Zucker, 20 (1/16/92), collected 46 points (22-24=46), including nine power-play goals, a plus-six rating and 38 penalty minutes (PIM) in 38 games this season during his sophomore campaign at the University of Denver. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound native of Las Vegas, Nev., ranked second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in goals and tied for second in scoring this season. He ranked tied for ninth in the NCAA in PPGs, tied for 13th in goals and tied for 15th in the nation in scoring. Zucker served as team captain for Team USA at the 2012 World Junior Championship and tallied seven points (3-4=7). He registered 45 points (23-22=45) in 40 games last season at Denver. Zucker ranked second in the WCHA in goals and third in points and was named the WCHA Freshman of the Year.
He is one of two United States players to win three gold medals in one calendar year as he won a gold medal at the 2009 and 2010 World Under-18 Championships as well as the 2010 World Junior Championship and one of 21 American players to appear in three World Junior Championships.
Zucker was selected by Minnesota in the second round (No. 59) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)