The Minnesota Wild have lost five of six and have scored just six goals over that stretch.
So, they’ve decided to add some offense.
The club recalled Jason Zucker from AHL Houston on Friday, just a few days after he was named to the American League’s All-Rookie team for 2012-13.
Zucker, 21, leads the Aeros with 24 goals and is tied for the team scoring lead with 50 points.
The Wild’s second-round pick (59th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Zucker has appeared in 14 games for the Wild this season, scoring 4G-1A-5PTS while averaging over 10 minutes per contest.
Zucker’s not big (5-fot-11, 186 pounds) but he is fast, and has shown an ability to score goals.
Despite only appearing in a handful of NHL games this year, he has the same number of tallies as Pierre-Marc Bouchard (35 games played) and Torrey Mitchell (37).
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.