Forward Jason Zucker, 21, hasn’t secured his roster spot with the Wild yet and he didn’t do himself any favors during Minnesota’s 3-1 victory over St. Louis on Wednesday.
“He’s got to get more engaged,” Wild coach Mike Yeo told the Star Tribune.
More specifically, Yeo didn’t like seeing a player with Zucker’s speed losing races to the puck. In the end, he didn’t make a difference in that game.
That’s in contrast to 21-year-old forward Mikael Granlund, who was sidelined on Wednesday, but took part in Thursday’s practice and impressed the bench boss.
Granlund and Zucker both have a lot of promise, but the Wild might opt to start the campaign with only one of them. If that’s the case, then right now that looks like bad news for Zucker.
“I’ve got nobody to blame but myself,” Zucker said.
Still, the Wild have one final preseason game tonight. One last chance for their young players to prove they deserve to stick with the squad.