Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

Special to Vegashockey.net

Winnipeg – Jason Zucker of Las Vegas and the NHL Minnesota Wild got the game-breaker goal here tonight. With the clock ticking down Jason rushed down the left side heading towards the Winnipeg Jets, got a quick hard pass from linemate Erik Haula and then blue-streaked a game-winning goal with 2:10 to play at the MTS Centre.  Final score: Jason and the NHL Minnesota Wild 6, Winnipeg Jets 5 before a sold out crowd at 15,294.

It was a stunning goal as the Wild was coming off a short-handed shift when Jason scored. It was his 20th goal this season to help heighten the Wild’s season record to 41-14-6.

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Jason is the first and only Las Vegas player in the NHL. He grew up playing ice and roller hockey here in Las Vegas. He last played ice hockey in town for a Wally Lacroix-coached AAA Nevada Stars 16u team at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

For years Jason played roller hockey for coach Larry Sanford on Las Vegas Tour Rebels travel roller teams at Crystal Palace ‘The Little Home of Champions’ on North Rancho Drive. There is a Jason Zucker framed signed hockey stick hanging in the roller rink. Banners of Jason have been raised in the two ice arenas in town – the Las Vegas Ice Center on Flamingo Avenue and the SoBe Ice Arena on North Rancho Drive.

Jason’s younger brother Cameron plays ice hockey in the Nevada Storm program at the Ice Center. Jason’s mother Natalie Zucker was a Team Mom when Jason played youth hockey and today she is a Team Mom on Cameron’s hockey team. Hockey dad Scott Zucker is at the rinkbords when Cameron skates. Scott chats about hockey with all of the hometown hockey parents.

Jason’s older brother Evan was one of the greatest goal scorers in ice and roller in Las Vegas. Evan scored many game-winning goals here in town and in games far away from home. Evan is now an assistant coach with the WSHL Las Vegas Storm junior team which skates out of the Las Vegas Ice Center.

When Jason was drafted in the NHL in 2010 he was allowed to take his parents plus two others to the NHL Draft in Los Angeles. He chose Larry Sanford, his roller coach, and Rob Pallin, a Vegas Hockey Hall of Fame ice hockey coach who helped train Jason during summer months at the SoBe Ice Arena. Larry is now retired. Coach Rob is in Austria coaching TWK Innsbruck in playoffs this week. Coach Rob was named the 2016-17 ‘Coach of the Year’ in the Austrian Elite League.

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Here is a look at Jason’s goal scoring with the NHL Minnesota Wild

Jason Zucker, 25 years old, Las Vegas

2010 NHL Draft – Minnesota Wild Round Two, #59 Player Overall

2011-12 – NHL Minnesota Wild 6 games, 0 goals

2012-13 – NHL Minnestoa Wild 25 games, 5 goals

2013-14 – NHL Minnesota Wild 21 games, 4 goals

2014-15 – NHL Minnesota Wild 51 games, 23 goals

2015-16 – NHL Minnesota Wild 77 games, 13 goals

2016-17 – NHL Minnesota Wild 61 games, 20 goals

Total – NHL Minnesota Wild 251 games, 65 goals, 46 assists, 111 points