Monday, Feb 10, 2020

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas’ greatest most dynamic goal scorer Jason Zucker, who played eight seasons with the NHL Minnesota Wild, today was dealt to the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins. The deal was rumored for weeks and today Jason – whose wife Carly and his hockey family were deeply embedded with dear families and fans in the Minneapolis, St. Paul areas – learned he was going to Pittsburgh.

Jason, 28, had a tremendous career with Minnesota – 8 seasons, 456 career games, 132 goals, 111 assists and 243 points.


When Jason was 3 1/2 he and his father Scott went together to see roller hockey coaching legend Larry Sanford at the famous Crystal Palace Roller Rink in Las Vegas.

Jason brought his own hockey stick.

Everyone in the Zucker family – Evan, Adam, Jason, Kimmie and Cameron – played hockey. Evan was a premier goal scoring sniper initially in roller hockey, Adam played a hard, rough, effective game in ice hockey, Kimmie was a very very popular skater in house league roller and ice hockey and Cameron was a top goal scorer in junior hockey.

There were many many road trips for hockey dad Scott and hockey mom Natalie Zucker.

Jason’s last hometown hockey team was the 2006-7 Las Vegas Outlaws which practiced and played home games at the Las Vegas Ice Center.  Wally Lacroix was the head coach.

When players practiced shooting OT/Shootout goals coach Lacroix would tell his goal scorers to aim for either corner or perhaps top shelf left or right.

Then Lacroix would tell Jason “….do whatever it takes to score.”

Jason was a speed burner as a pre-teen and as he grew older he and coach Rob Pallin connected for summertime speed skates and conditioning drills here in Las Vegas.

When Jason went to the 2010 NHL Player Draft in Los Angeles he asked his parents, roller coach Larry Sanford and hockey coach Rob Pallin to be with him “..on the biggest day of my life.”

Jason was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in Round Two.