Player of the Week | Jason Zucker

JASON ZUCKER

Nov. 6–Nov.13, 2017

6-1–7 (4 GP)
FIRST NHL CAREER HAT TRICK
6 STRAIGHT GOALS ARE LONGEST STREAK IN WILD HISTORY

Jason Zucker is having the kind of week he’d hoped he would.

Zucker (6-1–7) netted his first NHL career hat trick and two consecutive game-winners to help the Minnesota Wild string together back-to-back wins and end their three-game losing streak.

The 25-year-old’s hot streak is helping to contribute to a fund he created to celebrate the life and memory of a young friend, Tucker Helstrom, who succumbed to osteosarcoma July 2, 2016.

Zucker has used his No. 16 to bolster support of #GIVE16 in a variety of creative ways, while pledging $160,000 to help build the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital – the place he first met Tucker, who Zucker says changed his life.

“Walking in that day,” Zucker told Dane Mizutani of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, “I had no idea it was going to change my life.”

“His favorite thing to tell me was to shoot more.’

“Shoot more”.

Two words Zucker keeps at top of mind by having them emblazoned across his wrist.

“I look down and I see the words ‘SHOOT MORE’ and as simple as that is, it’s great advice for this sport,” Zucker spoke of his tattoo. “It’s a constant reminder of him.”

Zucker has clearly heeded this advice. His 17 shots over the week have tied him for third in the league and resulted in him scoring the last six consecutive goals for the Wild.

“We want people to get creative and have some fun with it,” Zucker said. “I’ve personally pledged $1,600 for every goal I score this season... Hopefully we go broke this season.”

At this rate, he just might. Zucker has now scored $14,400 worth of goals this season, or in terms that don't require a calculator, nine.

In a 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday, Zucker’s first NHL career hat trick began with a short-handed tally in the final frame.

He tacked on two more goals at the stop at Bell Centre to help teammates Devan Dubnyk post his 25th NHL career shutout and Eric Staal pick up his 500th NHL career assist.

"He's got the last two games covered," Staal told reporters postgame. "You know, he's moving really well. The puck seems to be finding him and he's got some offensive skill to finish and right now it's going in so we want to keep that riding as long as we can. He's a good competitor and it was fun to be a part of his hat trick tonight."

Saturday, Zucker looked to third period heroics once more by scoring the game’s only goal in a 1-0 blanking of the Philadelphia Flyers for the Wild’s second straight road win. The goal was Zucker's sixth consecutive goal for the team in just three games – a feat no player in the franchise’s history has accomplished.

Earlier in the week, Zucker picked up a pair of goals Wednesday during a 4-2 loss in Toronto after picking up an assist Monday in the week's first stop of the road trip stop in a 5-3 loss in Boston. By the end of the week, Zucker found his name atop Minnesota's scoring list with a team-high nine goals and 14 points.

Zucker and the Wild head home to Minnesota for a rematch with the Flyers Tuesday. Home will be a welcome spot for Zucker, whose wife Carly recently gave birth to their first son. 

He also received some advice from teammates after welcoming little Hendrix Scott Zucker.

“Sleep,” Zucker told the Minnesota Star Tribune. “Just sleep as much as you can. That was the No. 1 thing I heard.”

At the rate he's scoring goals, that advice couldn't be more prudent. Zucker is one more goal away of matching the league record of seven consecutive team goals scored by a player.

*Note: At the time of publish, the Zuckers are under $1,000 away from hitting their target of $32,000. Visit crowdfund.umn.edu/give16 to donate – in units of 16 of course!

Complete listing of the 2017-18 NHLPA.com Players of the Week here.

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