It only took two games and an injury for last year’s playoff hero Jason Zucker to receive his first NHL call-up of the year, but it certainly could’ve been under better circumstances.
Zucker’s promotion came immediately following the Minnesota Wild’s announcement that No. 2 center Charlie Coyle will miss three to four weeks due to a knee sprain sustained in last night’s game.
According to the team’s website:
The Minnesota Wild has recalled forward Jason Zucker from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL). The team also announced today that center Charlie Coyle is expected to miss three to four weeks due to a knee sprain suffered last night in Minnesota’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
Zucker collected five points (4-1=5) in 20 regular season games with the Wild last season and added two points (1-1=2) in five playoff contests. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound forward was born in Newport Beach, Calif., and raised in Las Vegas, Nev. The 21-year-old was selected by Minnesota in the second-round (No. 59) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and wears sweater No. 16 with the Wild.
With the injury to Coyle, it’s an almost given that Mikael Granlund moves from third line winger to center Dany Heatley and either Zucker or Nino Niederreiter on the second line. No matter how you look at this, it’s a huge, huge blow to Minnesota’s offensive corps.
After an awkward 0-0-2 start to the season by the Wild, this only complicates things for a team that has the potential to be great or collapse in epic fashion. In the meantime, the players have until Tuesday to refocus and get back to what’s been making them so successful. We’ll see how they come out in Tuesday night’s matchup against the Nashville Predators. If they don’t come out strong right out of the gate, it could be another aggravating finish. That’s the last thing fans and coaching staff want to see right now.
Follow Dakota Case at Twitter.com/Dakota_case