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Rumor: Jason Zucker drawing interest from Carolina and Vegas

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Per reports, teams are calling Wild GM Paul Fenton. Of those teams, it looks like both the Carolina Hurricanes and the Vegas Golden Knights have been named.

Zucker is 27 years old, and was a former 2nd round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft. Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, he’s surpassed 30 goals just once in his career but was on pace for 30 two seasons ago before a broken clavicle sidelined his campaign. His speed is his best asset as he finds room behind the defense for breakaways and scoring chances.

He’s the one player on the Wild that continuously finds ways to create his own opportunities. He ranks 45th in the league among all forwards in individual High-Danger scoring chances per 60 minutes. Even this year, in what’s considered a down year for Zucker, he still ranks 30th among all forwards for shot per 60. That’s better than Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, and Tyler Seguin. His biggest problem has been the dip in shooting percentage. When at his best, the season-ending shooting percentage was near 15 percent. This season he’s off that mark with 8.9 percent. It may be a symptom of the team’s issues with scoring, but Zucker is still getting shots, and opportunities. That shooting percentage can rebound.

Another thing is that if the Wild do unload Zucker, it instantly makes this team slower. The Wild came into the league old and slow, and getting rid of the fastest player on the team hurts any help on getting faster, quicker, and more like the rest of the NHL.

The interest from Carolina perks Wild fans’ ears because of the recent Nino Niederreiter trade. The Wild flipped Niederreiter straight up for Victor Rask who was relegated to the 4th line before suffering a lower body injury. If you think the Hurricanes are going to feel bad about the Nino move, they may be trying to strike while the iron is hot. If Fenton deals with Carolina, he should be ooking to dig deep into the solid farm system Carolina has built up.

The same goes for Vegas. The Golden Knights have a bunh of prospects. That should be expected when they pick three times in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft. A trade with Vegas would mean Zucker would be heading home. But if you think they’ll get Erik Haula, Alex Tuch, or Nate Schmidt you’re probably wrong. Tuch is a stud for them, Haula is struggling, and Nate Schmidt helps their defense tick.

It will be interesting if Zucker gets moved prior to the 2 PM CT deadline.