Jason Zucker has signed a two-year, $4 million contract extension with the Minnesota Wild, according to the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.
The deal pays him $2 million in each season and will leave him as an RFA at the end of the term, providing a bridge for the speedy winger to prove that he can produce at the level he did during the 2014-15 season and that the lengthy slump at the end of the 2015-16 season was an aberration.
During the 2015 campaign, Zucker scored 21 goals and 26 points in just 51 games before an injury ended his season. His goal scoring rate at even strength was second only to Rick Nash league wide. Last season that fell to only 13 goals and 23 points in 71 games. That included scoring just two goals and four points in the final 31 games of the season. He followed that up by posting no goals and two assists in six postseason contests.
That definitely impacted the value of this deal, which, entering last season, looked like it would be well north of this. It’s a good deal for both Zucker and the team, giving the player the opportunity to perform and get paid, and it gives a cap-strapped Wild club the ability to extend him through a difficult cap period.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.