FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has acquired forward Mats Zuccarello from the New York Rangers in exchange for a conditional second-round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft.
The second-round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft will become a first-round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft if the Stars advance to the third round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and he plays in at least 50 percent of the team's cumulative games over the first two rounds. The third-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft becomes a first-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft should Dallas re-sign Zuccarello in the off-season.
Zuccarello, 31, has posted 37 points (11-26=37) in 46 regular-season games played for the Rangers this season. Amongst team leaders, he ranks second in power play points (3-11=14), third in assists (26), third in points per game (.80) and fourth in takeaways (36). Since Jan. 12, he has posted 22 points (7-15=22) over 16 games played.
A nine-year veteran, all with the Rangers, he has produced 352 points (113-239=352) in 509 career regular-season games played. In that time, he has a +37 plus/minus rating, 98 power play points (21-77=98) and 21 game-winning goals. He has converted on 50.0% of his career shootout attempts (25/50), and amongst players with 50+ shootout attempts, that conversion rate is tied for third-best in NHL history along with new Stars teammate Tyler Seguin (26/52).
Qualifying six times for the postseason, he has recorded 31 points (11-20=31) in 60 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests. In 2013-14, he competed in the Stanley Cup Final for the Rangers and amongst team leaders, finished tied for fourth in points (5-8=13) and tied for second in plus/minus rating (+7), appearing in all of their 25 games played.
"Mats is a legitimate top-six forward in this League who possesses a high level of speed, skill, compete and grit," said Nill. "He will enhance our team in a number of ways, whether it is at even strength, on the power play or in the shootout. We strongly believe in what we have in our dressing room and we clearly wanted to support that group by adding a dynamic player like Mats."
Internationally, he has represented Norway several times including two appearances at the Winter Olympic Games (2014, 2010), four appearances at the IIHF World Championship (2016, 2010, 2009, 2008) and two appearances for their U-20 World Jr. Championship teams (2007 [D1], 2006). He also competed for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The 5-foot-8, 184-pound native of Oslo, Norway was originally signed by the New York Rangers as an undrafted free agent on May 26, 2010.
In a separate transaction, the Stars have re-assigned center Joel L'Esperance to the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). In four games played for Dallas, he has recorded three shots on goal. In 49 contests with Texas, he has registered 42 points (27-15=42) and his 27 goals rank second in the AHL.