Jason Zucker is staying in the Minnesota Wild organization. Zucker just might not be at the NHL level.
Zucker, a restricted free agent this offseason, signed a two-year contract with Minnesota on Tuesday. The deal includes a two-way option in 2014-15 that could see him sent to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Iowa, and a one-way contract for 2015-16.
Zucker, 22, had four goals and one assists in 21 NHL games last season for the Wild. He had eight goals and five assists in 22 games in the AHL for the Iowa Wild. Zucker had surgery on March 25 to repair a tendon in his left quadriceps, which caused him to miss the remainder of the season.
He’s expected to be ready for the start of next season and will be competing for a regular spot in the NHL. Zucker, a second-round draft pick by Minnesota in 2010, has eight goals and four assists in 47 career NHL games over the past three seasons.
Zucker was one of five players for the Wild who were restricted free agents. Defenseman Jon Blum agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Minnesota on Friday. Nino Niederreiter, Justin Fontaine and Darcy Kuemper are also restricted free agents. Fontaine filed for arbitration rights earlier.