Mats Zuccarello
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Mats Zuccarello

Mats Zuccarello
Mats Zuccarello - YOG Ambassador (22282331195).jpg
Zuccarello in 2015
Born (1987-09-01) 1 September 1987 (age 32)
Oslo, Norway
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 179 lb (81 kg; 12 st 11 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Minnesota Wild
Frisk Asker
Modo Hockey
New York Rangers
Metallurg Magnitogorsk
Dallas Stars
National team  Norway
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2004–present

Mats André Zuccarello Aasen (born 1 September 1987) is a Norwegian professional ice hockey winger for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL). Prior to joining the NHL, he played for Modo Hockey in the Swedish Elite League. In 2010, he won the Guldhjälmen (Golden Helmet), awarded annually to the most valuable player in the Swedish Hockey League.

Early life

Zuccarello grew up in the suburbs of Løren in Oslo and began playing hockey at age five. After several years at Hasle-Løren, he began playing for Vålerenga, where he stayed until the end of lower secondary school. By that time, he had been scouted by Frisk Asker, which offered him a scholarship at the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, which he accepted.[1]

Zuccarello is of Italian descent from his mother's side.[2][3] He has a younger brother, Fabian, who plays for the Valencia Flyers in the Western States Hockey League, and a step brother, Robin Dahlstrøm, who plays for Storhamar in Norway.

Playing career

Norway and Sweden

Zuccarello began playing full-time for Frisk in the GET-ligaen, Norway's premiere league, as an 18-year-old. He scored 8 points over 21 games as a rookie in 2005-06. The following season, he improved to 59 points over 43 games, third in league scoring behind Jonas Solberg Andersen and Mathis Olimb. In 2007-08, Zuccarello helped the Tigers to the best regular season record in the league. Zuccarello finished third in league scoring a second consecutive season with 64 points, as he and Tigers teammates Chris Abbott, Cam Abbott and Marcus Eriksson ranked as the top four GET-ligaen scorers. Zuccarello added 27 points in 15 playoff games as the Tigers advanced to the Finals, where they were defeated in six games by the Storhamar Dragons.

After three seasons in the GET-ligaen, Zuccarello signed with Modo Hockey of the Elitserien, Sweden's premier league. In his first season with Modo, he ranked third in team scoring with 40 points in 35 games. The following season, he led the team with 23 goals. With a league-leading 64 points, he was awarded the Guldhjälmen as the league's most valuable player, as voted by Elitserien players.

New York Rangers

Zucarello in September 2015

In the summer of 2010, Zuccarello was signed as a free agent by the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL) to a two-year, entry-level contract. He began the 2010-11 season with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale, the Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, to adapt to the North American style of hockey and rink dimensions. On 22 December 2010, he was called up to the Rangers following an injury to right winger Marián Gáborík.[4] He made his NHL debut on 23 December 2010 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the seventh Norwegian player to play in the NHL as well as the second undrafted one. Zuccarello logged 17 minutes and 52 seconds of ice time and registered two shots on goal in his NHL debut. As the game remained tied after overtime, Zuccarello scored in the shootout against Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis. However, the Rangers lost the game 4-3. Though he was reassigned to the Whale immediately after the game,[5] the Rangers recalled him for their next game, on 27 December against the New York Islanders.[6] He earned his first NHL assist during the contest,[7] tying defenceman Anders Myrvold for the Norwegian player with the fewest games played before recording an NHL point.[8] The Rangers won the game 7-2. Nine days later, in his sixth game, Zuccarello scored his first NHL goal against goaltender Cam Ward three minutes into overtime, leading the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.[9] On 1 April 2011 he was reassigned to Connecticut after playing 41 games for the Rangers.[10]

On 13 April 2011, Zuccarello became only the second Norwegian to take part in NHL post-season action when the Rangers lost 2-1 against the Washington Capitals.[11]

Metallurg Magnitogorsk

On 1 June 2012, Zuccarello confirmed he had signed a two-year contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).[12] However, he returned to the NHL and the Rangers after the 2012-13 NHL lockout.

Return to Rangers

On 28 March 2013, Zuccarello agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Rangers.[13] Zuccarello played in the last 15 games of the 2012-13 campaign, helping the Rangers reach the postseason. He played in all 12 Ranger playoff games, tallying his first playoff goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals.[14]

Zuccarello with the Rangers, February 2011.

Zuccarello re-signed with the Rangers at the end of the 2012-13 season for another one-year contract, worth $1.15 million.[15] The 2013-14 season turned out to be a breakout season for Zuccarello. He tallied career highs in goals, assists and team-highs in points, as his contributions helped the Rangers reach the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, where they faced-off against the Los Angeles Kings. Although New York lost the series 4-1, Zuccarello made history by becoming the first Norwegian to ever participate in a Stanley Cup Final. His all-around game also took a step forward throughout the season, as he established himself as a hard worker with the ability to get under the skin of his opponents. His work was recognized by being awarded the 2013-14 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award.

On 22 July 2014, Zuccarello agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Rangers.[16]

During the 2014-15 season, Zuccarello agreed to a four-year, $18 million contact worth $4.5 million annually that extends through to the 2018-19 season.[17] He finished fifth on the team in scoring, playing a large role with linemate Rick Nash, having the second-most goals in the NHL, as the Rangers won the Presidents' Trophy with the League's best regular season record. Early into the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, Zuccarello was hit in the head by a shot by his own teammate, Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. It was determined Zuccarello suffered a serious brain contusion and concussion and would most likely miss the rest of the playoffs. But rumors escalated as the Rangers continued their run that he may be available if the Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games in the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals, ending their season.

At the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Zuccarello got off to a fast start in his return, quickly becoming the team leader in scoring. On 30 October, Zuccarello recorded a hat-trick (the first of his NHL career) against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and on 15 November, he scored the game-winning goal in another game against the Maple Leafs, with less than one minute remaining in regulation. In his comeback season, Zuccarello scored a career-high 26 goals, with 35 assists. His performance, coupled with his tremendous effort, especially returning to the ice after the aforementioned injury the previous postseason, culminated in Zuccarello winning the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award again and being selected as a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy for the 2015-16 season.[18]

To start the 2017-18 season, Zuccarello was named an alternate captain of the Rangers on 4 October 2017.[19] On 12 March 2018, Zuccarello recorded his 100th career NHL goal, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, which the Rangers won 6-3.[20] On 23 October 2018, Zuccarello became the ninth player in Rangers history to lead the team in points for three consecutive seasons, joining Jaromír Jágr, Wayne Gretzky, Phil Esposito, Andy Bathgate, Bryan Hextall Sr., Cecil Dillon, Bill Cook and Frank Boucher.

Dallas Stars

On 24 February 2019, Zuccarello was traded to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 2019 conditional second-round pick and a 2020 conditional third-round pick.[21] He debuted with the Stars the same day against the Chicago Blackhawks. He scored his first goal with the team during the second period but later suffered an upper-body injury forcing him to miss the third period of play. Afterwards, the Stars announced he was expected to miss at least four weeks to recover.[22]

Minnesota Wild

Having left the Stars as a free agent, Zuccarello was signed to a five-year, $30 million contract with the Minnesota Wild on July 1, 2019.[23]

International play

Zuccarello has represented Norway at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Canada, the 2009 IIHF World Championship, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany. He was forced to withdraw from the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, however, due to a hand fracture. Zuccarello later represented Norway at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Zuccarello represented Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004-05 Frisk Tigers GET 1 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
2005-06 Frisk Tigers GET 21 5 3 8 12 4 0 0 0 2
2006-07 Frisk Tigers GET 43 34 25 59 36 7 4 4 8 2
2007-08 Frisk Tigers GET 33 24 40 64 48 15 12 15 27 24
2008-09 Modo Hockey SEL 35 12 28 40 38 -- -- -- -- --
2009-10 Modo Hockey SEL 55 23 41 64 62 -- -- -- -- --
2010-11 Connecticut Whale AHL 36 13 16 29 16 2 1 1 2 4
2010-11 New York Rangers NHL 42 6 17 23 4 1 0 0 0 2
2011-12 Connecticut Whale AHL 37 12 24 36 22 -- -- -- -- --
2011-12 New York Rangers NHL 10 2 1 3 6 -- -- -- -- --
2012-13 Metallurg Magnitogorsk KHL 44 11 17 28 30 7 2 2 4 10
2012-13 New York Rangers NHL 15 3 5 8 8 12 1 6 7 4
2013-14 New York Rangers NHL 77 19 40 59 32 25 5 8 13 20
2014-15 New York Rangers NHL 78 15 34 49 45 5 0 2 2 0
2015-16 New York Rangers NHL 81 26 35 61 34 5 1 1 2 4
2016-17 New York Rangers NHL 80 15 44 59 26 12 4 3 7 16
2017-18 New York Rangers NHL 80 16 37 53 36 -- -- -- -- --
2018-19 New York Rangers NHL 46 11 26 37 24 -- -- -- -- --
2018-19 Dallas Stars NHL 2 1 2 3 0 13 4 7 11 6
GET totals 98 63 68 131 96 26 16 19 35 28
SHL totals 90 35 69 104 100 -- -- -- -- --
NHL totals 511 114 241 355 215 73 15 27 42 52

International

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2004 Norway WJC18 10th 6 0 2 2 8
2005 Norway WJC18-D1 11th 5 2 3 5 6
2006 Norway WJC 10th 6 0 2 2 4
2007 Norway WJC-D1 19th 5 2 5 7 2
2008 Norway WC 8th 7 1 0 1 2
2009 Norway WC 11th 6 3 0 3 8
2010 Norway OG 10th 4 1 2 3 2
2010 Norway WC 9th 6 3 1 4 2
2014 Norway OG 12th 3 0 0 0 2
2016 Norway WC 10th 7 1 2 3 4
2016 Norway OGQ Q 3 2 3 5 0
2016 Team Europe WCH 2nd, silver medalist(s) 6 1 3 4 4
Junior totals 22 4 12 16 20
Senior totals 39 12 11 23 24

Awards and honours

References

  1. ^ Fossheim, Kenneth (11 June 2010). "Guttedrømmen går i oppfyllelse". Groruddalen (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ "Intervista all'italo norvegese Mats Zuccarello". ..:: HockeyTime ::.. Notizie dal mondo dell'hockey.
  3. ^ "Zuccarello: - Helt sykt å bli matchvinner!".
  4. ^ Cerny, J. (22 December 2010). "Zuccarello getting first shot at NHL". New York Rangers. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^ "Zuccarello returned to Connecticut". New York Rangers. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  6. ^ "Zuccarello returns to Rangers roster". New York Rangers. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  7. ^ "NY Rangers 7, NY Islanders 2". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010.
  8. ^ Olasveengen, F. "Norwegian NHL-records". NIHF. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 2010.
  9. ^ Podell, I. (5 January 2011). "Zuccarello's OT goal lifts Rangers over Hurricanes". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "Zuccarello assigned to Whale". newyorkrangers.com. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ Corey Masisak (14 April 2011). "Semin's OT goal lifts Caps past Rangers, 2-1". nhl.com. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ NRK. ""Zucca" forlater Rangers". NRK.
  13. ^ "Looking for Offense, Rangers Bring Back Zuccarello". nytimes.com.
  14. ^ "Washington Capitals routed by New York Rangers in Game 7 of 2013 NHL playoff series". Washington Post.
  15. ^ "Rangers resign LW Zuccarello". Yahoo Sports. 30 July 2013.
  16. ^ "Rangers, Zuccarello agree on one-year, $3.5m deal". TSN.ca. 22 July 2014. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ Strang, Katie (2 March 2015). "Rangers, Mats Zuccarello agree". espn.com. ESPN. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ "Mats Zuccarello Named a Finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy". Sports Media 101.
  19. ^ Brooks, Larry (4 October 2017). "The heart and soul of the Rangers deserves this honor". The New York Post. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ Stephenson, Colin (12 March 2018). "Jimmy Vesey nets hat trick in Rangers' victory over Carolina". newsday.com. Retrieved 2018. Zuccarello had the game's first goal and an empty- netter of his own with 2:37 left that was the 100th of his NHL career.
  21. ^ Cyrgalis, Brett. "Emotional day as Rangers trade Zuccarello to Stars for two picks". New York Post. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ King, Scott (24 February 2019). "Zuccarello scores, then injured in Stars debut in win against Blackhawks". NHL.com. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ "Wild, Mats Zuccarello agree on five-year contract". Minnesota Wild. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 2019.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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