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Boeser, Zucker to participate in charity game against fans

Will take ice alongside Minnesota players with disabilities at Da Beauty League

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

EDINA, Minn. -- Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser and Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker will be among a group of NHL players who will play in a Unified Showcase game Monday between playoff games of Da Beauty League, a 4-on-4 summer league featuring players with connections to Minnesota.

Boeser, 21, was a finalist for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the top rookie in the NHL, after he had 55 points (29 goals, 26 assists) in 62 games last season.

His sister, Jessica Boeser, will again play for the Minnesota Special Hockey Team. She had a goal and an assist in the game last year.

Founded in the spring of 2006, Minnesota Special Hockey is home to more than 180 players and 10 teams, comprised of all ages, spanning across the state. The season opens the first week of November and runs until the first week of March, with tournaments and festivals in between hour-long games and practices.

The groups will form two teams of six players each to highlight that no matter the level of play, hockey is for everyone.

While Brock Boeser has evolved into one of the top young players in the NHL, Jessica jokes that she is the better hockey player.

"She likes to think that," Brock Boeser said, laughing. "Maybe she taught me a little bit.

"[Jessica's] always loved hockey, and she's always played. I used to go to some of her games, and sometimes my parents would drag me, but it was always fun to watch her play. She loves when she gets to be in the spotlight sometimes. It's awesome to see, and I know all those kids have a lot of fun. They're big supporters of us, so for us to support them in front of a huge crowd, they all have a lot of fun."

Zucker, 26, will also have a special connection to the game; his 13-year-old nephew, Caden Hronski, has nonverbal Down syndrome. Hrosnki will play alongside his uncle.

Video: MIN@SJS: Zucker scores his second goal of the game

"I know from Caden's experience, for them just to be playing hockey in general, even without the NHL players, is an experience that they love," said Zucker, who scored an NHL career high 33 goals for the Wild last season. "They have a lot of fun and I'm excited to be helping out and skating out there with them."

Zucker, a finalist last season for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community, will also be hosting a stick drive Monday. All donated sticks will be used as part of a hockey stick installation on the roof in the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio and the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. Zucker currently has between 50-100 sticks and needs roughly 200 more by Sept. 8 to complete the addition to the suite.

"We'll take any kind of stick," Zucker said. "It can be brand new, it can be broken, wood, graphite, pink, purple, green; it does not matter, we're going to take it."

Zucker said donated sticks can include a special note or autograph by those making the donation.

Boeser and Zucker are equally excited to give back and participate in such meaningful events, but it's players like Jessica Boeser who are relishing the opportunity.

"It's a lot of fun," Jessica said. "I still remember when I watched [Brock] in mites and now he's a pro, which is weird but still fun. I'm excited for games like this where we can all play together again."

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