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.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.