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Wild, Mats Zuccarello agree on five-year contract

Former Ranger and Star is highest scoring Norwegian-born player in NHL history

by Minnesota Wild @mnwild /

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild General Manager Paul Fenton today announced the National Hockey League club has agreed to terms with right wing Mats Zuccarello on a five-year, $30 million contract that goes through the 2023-24 season.

Zuccarello, 31, recorded 40 points (12-28=40), including 15 power-play points (3-12=15) in 48 games with the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars last season and averaged a career-best 19:51 in TOI/game. The 5-foot-8, 184-pound native of Oslo, Norway, added 11 points (4-7=11) in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff contests with Dallas, ranking T-1st on the team in scoring, T-2nd in assists and T-3rd in goals.

Zuccarello has collected 355 points (114-241=355) including 99 power-play points (21-78=99), a plus-40 rating, 215 penalty minutes (PIM), 619 hits and 351 blocked shots in 511 career NHL contests during parts of nine seasons with the Rangers and the Stars (2010-19). He has also notched 42 points (15-27=42) in 73 career Stanley Cup Playoff matches. Zuccarello is the all-time leading Norwegian-born scorer in the NHL.

He has represented Norway in 10 international tournaments including the 2014 and 2010 Winter Olympics. Zuccarello also played in three games for Norway to help them qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics. He registered four points (1-3=4) in six games to help Team Europe finish as the runner-up at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Zuccarello has played for Norway at the 2016, 2010, 2009 and 2008 IIHF World Championships, the 2007 (Div. 1) and 2006 IIHF World Junior Championships and the 2005 (Div. 1) and 2004 IIHF World Under-18 Championships.

The left-hand shot tallied 104 points (35-69=104) in two seasons (2008-10) for MODO in the Swedish Elite League. Zuccarello led the Swedish League in scoring in 2009-10 with 64 points (21-43=64) in 55 games and received the Guldhjälmen Award as the league's Most Valuable Player. The Rangers signed him as a free agent on May 26, 2010. Zuccarello made his NHL debut on Dec. 23, 2010 vs. Tampa Bay.

"Mats is a very competitive, high-energy player," Fenton said. "He brings a high level of skill and character to our lineup and we're very excited to add him to our team."

He established The Zuccarello Foundation in 2016 to assist and help grow Norwegian grass root and youth hockey throughout the country. Zuccarello is also an ambassador for Right To Play, an organization that helps educate and empower children living in disadvantaged communities.

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