Zucker agreed to terms with the Wild on a five-year, $27.5 million contract extension Wednesday. Zucker had an arbitration hearing scheduled this Saturday, but new Wild GM Paul Fenton ultimately was able to appease the contract demands of one of the team's most valuable players. Now 26 years old, Zucker posted 33 goals -- including seven game-winners -- and 31 assists for career highs across the board in a full season's workload. Minnesota's 2010 second-round (59th overall) draft choice ranks squarely among the league's premier wingers, and it seems that only an injury could prevent him from eclipsing 200 shots for a second straight year.
Zucker's arbitration hearing date is set for Saturday, July 28, Michael Russo of The Athletic Minnesota reports. It's likely Zucker will sign a contract extension before then. Zucker had a career year last season, building on a multitude of career-best regular season statistics including his points total (64), goals (33), assists (31), shots (222) and ice time (16:58 per game), among others.
Zucker filed for salary arbitration ahead of Thursday's deadline, Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The Wild presented Zucker with a qualifying offer June 25 but evidently, the offer wasn't so sweet. With the winger crushing previous career highs this past season, sinking 33 goals to complement 31 assists and 16 power-play points, Zucker will undoubtedly command a serious raise after making $4 million over the life of his last contract with the Wild. Of course, it's still early in the offseason, and there's still time for Zucker's camp to determine what is truly market value for a winger of his caliber.
Zucker was handed a qualifying offer by Minnesota on Monday, Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Zucker -- who played in all 82 games last year -- set career highs in goals (33) and assists (31), which made it very unlikely the Wild were going to let him walk. Unless the two sides can work out a long-term deal, the winger will cost the club $2 million heading into the 2018-19 campaign.
Zucker scored twice Saturday against the Sharks in a 6-3 win. Zucker finishes the season with a career-high 33 goals and 64 points, the third straight season he's improved his point totals. He's been very efficient this season, finishing third in team scoring despite averaging just 17 minutes per game. His shooting percentage has also improved for the third straight season. The 26-year-old has taken another step in his development this season and could be a threat to score 30 goals again next year, especially with his speed and if he continues to get a lot of time on the power play.
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