The Wild has locked up another one of its highly touted prospect, signing Jason Zucker
to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The 20-year-old is expected to join the Wild on Thursday as the team hosts the Florida Panthers at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota selected Zucker in the second round (59th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He leaves the University of Denver after his sophomore year.
"After two successful seasons at the University of Denver, Jason, his representation, and Wild management have agreed that it was the right time for Jason to turn pro," Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said. "He has achieved great personal success in a short period of time at both the collegiate and national team levels.
"We are very excited to have Jason under contract and look forward to seeing his development within the Wild organization."
One of the top prospects in the college ranks, Zucker amassed 46 points (22-24=46), including nine power-play goals, a plus-six rating and 38 penalty minutes in 38 games with the Pioneers this season.
As a sophomore, Zucker ranked second in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in goals and tied for second in scoring this season. He tied for ninth in the NCAA in power play goals, tied for 13th in goals and tied for 15th in the nation in scoring.
Zucker is one of two players from the United States to win three gold medals in one calendar year, as he won a gold medal at the 2009 and 2010 World Under-18 Championships as well as the 2010 World Junior Championship. He is one of only 21 American players to appear in three World Junior Championships and served as team captain for Team USA at the 2012 WJC, tallying seven points (3-4=7). He also earned a bronze medal at the 2011 World Junior Championship.
Zucker registered 45 points (23-22=45) in 40 games as a freshman at Denver. He ranked second in the WCHA in goals and third in points and was named the WCHA Freshman of the Year.
Prior to attending DU, Zucker played two seasons for the United States National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Zucker joins Charlie Coyle
, Jonas Brodin
, Brett Bulmer
, Johan Larsson
and Zack Phillips
as top Minnesota prospects to have signed their entry level deals in the past year.