clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Now Or Never For Jason Zucker

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Good Afternoon Wilderness! Today, I am going to talk briefly about the Minnesota Wild resigning restricted free agent forward Jason Zucker to a two-year contract. For those that didn't see the terms of Zucker's contract. The first year of his two-year deal is a two-way contract.  Yippy Skippy!

Chad Graff, Pioneer Press -- The Wild re-signed restricted free agent Jason Zucker on Tuesday to a two-year deal that will keep the speedy left wing in Minnesota.

The first year of Zucker's deal is a two-way contract and the second year is a one-way deal, meaning Zucker would need to clear waivers before being sent to the minors during the 2015-16 season.

This season, Zucker, 22, will have a shot to make the Wild out of training camp, but a top-six role seems unlikely.

His play was cut short last season by a knee injury that kept him out of games after Feb. 6. In March, he underwent surgery to repair a tendon in his left quadriceps.

Moving forward, with Zucker being resigned, only restricted free agents Justin Fontaine, Darcy Kuemper and Nino Niederreiter are left to be signed . According to Michael Russo, it's just a matter of time before these guys are signed as well. Kuemper's deal is going to be a little more complicated, but will be signed, eventually.

According to Hockey's Future, Zucker is described as a very versatile forward, that can play on a scoring or a checking line. He's also a much better shooter than puckhandler. His speed lets him get to a lot of pucks.

Zucker is versatile? Did I miss something here?  True, Zucker has elite speed, but I have yet to see him play effectively in a checking role. This season, I think he's going to be a victim of the numbers game.

I believe it's now or never for Zucker. Time for him to make some hay while the sun shines.  I also agree with Tony Wiseau, Zucker will have a tough time making the NHL roster out of camp this season. There are too many talented young players ahead of him that are willing to play whatever role that's asked of them. So, unless Zucker gained some weight, and is able to play with some grit this season, he's going to have to light it up scoreboard to make the Minnesota Wild roster coming out of training camp.  

If I was general manager for a day - obviously I am not - I would walk away from Zucker, or try trading him. I am just not impressed with any part of his game, other than this speed. To play in the NHL, you need to be incredibly gifted offensively or be able to play a 200-foot game. I have yet to see Zucker play a 200-foot game. Thoughts?