Zucker & Brittain Hit The Pepsi Center On Tuesday

(above) Jason Zucker watched the Minnesota Wild play the Avs on Tuesday night
From: Star-Tribune
by Michael Russo

Jason Zucker, one of three Wild second-round picks in 2010 and a sophomore forward at the University of Denver, attended his third Wild game of the season at the Pepsi Center Tuesday night.

Like the good college student he is, Zucker, preparing to play Wisconsin this weekend in a first-round series of the WCHA playoffs, always uses the opportunity to study.

"It's fun to go out and see the Wild. I like watching hockey," said Zucker, who came with Pioneers teammate and Florida Panthers draft pick Sam Brittain. "I know a lot of hockey players that don't really enjoy watching hockey just because it engulfs their life so much as it is.

"That is not me. I enjoy watching and especially learning. When I go to a game, I don't sit there and cheer. I watch different things and try to learn the NHL game because my goal is to get there."

The big question many Wild fans want to know is, When will Zucker turn pro? Lately, and as recently as last week, General Manager Chuck Fletcher has said how exciting it is for the Wild that "six forwards are turning pro next year."

Fletcher is clearly including Zucker, although when pressed, Fletcher clarified it will be "up to the player. At the end of the year, we'll sit down with [Pioneers coach] George Gwozdecky and Jason and see where everybody feels he's at. We're not going to go in the middle of the night and take him out of there.

"There are going to be conversations. Certainly though, I think, we have opinions of what we feel would be right."

Zucker said he's made "no decision whatsoever" about his future.

"I am focused 100 percent on the present and what myself and Denver has to do to make it to the national tournament," said Zucker, who is tied for seventh in the WCHA with 20 goals and sixth with 42 points in 31 games. "I have seen numerous times that Chuck has said that, and I do respect the fact that he has said that and acknowledge [the possibility].

"Coming from one of the best GM's in the league, it's exciting to hear. But I'm not worried about that now. When the season comes to an end, it's something we'll talk about further with Coach Gwozdecky, my dad [Scott] and Chuck to figure out the best option for myself.

"As far as now, I'm coming back to the University of Denver."


Twister said...

Isn't it safe to assume Zucker is gone after this season? All signs seem to point that way.

Anonymous said...

We'd rather have Drew than Jason return next year.

Anonymous said...

Zucker is certainly AHL ready, if not NHL ready, depending on what role he'd play. He's fast, smart and skilled. In the right situations, he could be a good pro right now. If he can negotiate first round money as a second round pick, he'd be foolish not to jump. The Wild needs offense and he could provide help.

Enjoy him while you can.

Anonymous said...

My sources tell me that both Shore and Zucker are long gone. Enjoy them both while you can.

Shore is the more complete player. Mature, NHL size and skilled.

Zucker has been on the fast track to leave DU the day he showed up. He'll need one in the AHL, but scouts tell me he will be a 2nd or 3rd line future NHL'er

Goodbye, Mr. Shore.
Goodbye, Mr. Zucker.

Anonymous said...

Word has it that The Danimal is working on a deal with the Sharks. Has anyone heard these rumors too?

Also, I heard that Wade Bennett is trying to work the final pieces of the puzzle out with the Devils.

Glad to hear these guys are getting so much interest.

Any word on Beau Bennett? Nick Shore? Mermis?

Anonymous said...

As a Sioux fan, I don't think Zucker should bail on NCAA hockey quite yet. Last year UND had a couple of guys leave early (Hextall and Gregoire) who were nowhere near NHL ready. Now Zucker is probably more prepared than those two, but I am tired of guys leaving NCAA early to a career in the AHL. I am also tired of them lighting up the lamp agianst the Sioux, but I want what's best for NCAA hockey and the "student" athletes.

old pio said...

I see Toe Blake is posting here now, what with his NHL sources and close contact with scouts. What a bull shit artist. Just another (or perhaps the same) CC arsewipe trolling here because nobody knows or cares anything about CC.

Anonymous said...

Clip some more Activia coupons Grandpa. You sound bound up today.

Ring_of_Fire said...

One thing that might keep SOME players in college that would otherwise jump to the pros is the uncertain state of the NHL CBA.

With Donald Fehr assuming the reins of the NHLPA, the climate surrounding the CBA negotiations has become decidedly cool. The players feel that they got taken to the woodshed in the last deal and much of their anger is and has been directed at the quality of their representation. In hiring Fehr, the former MLBPA boss, the players' union has sent an unequivocally clear signal that they are NOT going to roll over and accept whatever the owners throw down.

The owners, of course, are LOVING their salary cap...something Fehr is morally and ethically opposed to. He managed to keep a salary cap out of baseball and, make no mistake, he believes that he can get hockey to roll back the clock and get rid of theirs as well.

Though it could mean the death of the NHL as we know it, the prospect of ANOTHER work stoppage is a real one.

The current NHL CBA expires on September 15th and no "official" negotiations have happened yet. What's worse, there are none currently scheduled. If the NHL labor uncertainty drags into the summer, or takes on a decidedly confrontational tone, you could see players who might ordinarily come out early decide to stay another year in order to avoid the messy fall-out of a potential work-stoppage.

All of this is, of course, conjecture and may not apply to any particular players - Zucker may leave no matter WHAT state the CBA is in. And, he might come back, too. But, the decision for all of these players simply isn't as cut-and-dried as, "am I good enough to play at the next level?"

Anonymous said...

Shore might stay. If he does, he can not only play with 2 brothers as a senior and finish his degree, he can also become a free agent and sign with any team he likes.

Florida has a lot of centers.

Also, he doesn't need the money like some players do, at least right away.

Of course, he risks getting nothing if he stays and gets hurt.

Anonymous said...

With as shitty as the Wild played, I'm surprised they didn't sign him on the spot last night