The Minnesota Wild are making sure to maintain their forward depth through the system.
The team announced they’ve re-signed restricted free agent forward Jason Zucker to a two-year deal. The first year of the new contract is a two-way deal and the second year will be one-way meaning he makes the same in the NHL or the AHL.
During the past two seasons Zucker has been an ideal depth player for the Wild. He scored four goals with five points in 21 games last season and had the same stats two seasons ago in 20 games. He’s nothing if not consistent.
At 22 years old, Zucker is a player the organization still has hopes he’ll turn into a consistent goal scorer at the NHL level, but he’s seen other young prospects zoom past him and into the big leagues. Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, and Erik Haula all established themselves last season.
Zucker is coming off a late-season knee injury and will look to impress in training camp. At the very least he’ll start the season in Iowa.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.