Last night, literally as the Idiot Hour concluded news broke that the Penguins traded for Minnesota Forward Jason Zucker. My instant reaction is below.
So couple corrections. Kessel put the ax to the trade originally. Also, Calen Addison is a second-rounder from 2018 who is still in juniors. The pick is conditional.
But my excitement has sustained into the morning. This bolsters a Penguins roster that to this point has overcome so much. This guy’s ceiling is 30+ goals a season. His basement is Carl Hagelin. Either way, he is a big addition to this team. With speed to spare he will fit beautifully into the Penguin’s current system.
Check out his heat map. The guy lives below the circles, which we know the Penguins star centers love wingers who do that. Rust, McCann, and Hornqvist all have very similar heat maps.
Zucker is also under contract for three more years. So once again another brilliant “hockey trade” by Jim Rutherford. This player is NOT A RENTAL! This is a guy who he has wanted since the summer.
He was able to offload an undesired product in Galchenyuk while acquiring a 30 goal scored for essentially two guys who have never played a game in the NHL.
At the end of the day, Jason Zucker is hungry. A guy who was seen around the league as being too good for Minnesota. Now has been freed and brought to a Penguins team that feels a lot like a cup contender.
Die-hard Penguins fans will begin to list players who have come from the same circumstance that came in and immediately pushed the Penguins to the cup. Kunitz and Kessel being at the top of that list.
To quote Phil Bourque, “buckle up baby” we’re going to push for Lord Stanley’s fabled Cup one last time!