What a year for Mats Zuccarello

April 4, 2017, by

mats zuccarello

Mats Zuccarello has been something special for the Rangers. When he first came on board, he was an unknown that was having a lot of trouble adjusting to the North American game. It wasn’t until he made the necessary adjustments (discussed in detail by Suit) that he was able to become a productive and consistent NHL player.

Fast forward to today, and Zucc is about to put together his second straight 60 point season, third if you want to round up from 59 during the 2013 season. But it’s not just the points that are impressive. Well, they are, as are those amazing passes he makes look routine and simple. But it’s the fact that he makes others around him better.

Looking back at the 2013-2014 season, when Zucc clicked with Benoit Pouliot and Derick Brassard, it was clear there was something different about his game. A step backward in 2014 occurred due to fewer shots taken and a lower SH%, but over the past two years Zucc has solidified his first line role.

What I find to be amazing about Zucc’s season is that he is shooting well below his career average. He’s shooting just 8%, well off from his career average of 10.9%. Yet despite that, he’s still able to contribute.

In 2014, during that step backward, Zucc faltered because he wasn’t shooting the puck. He learned and has taken considerably more shots. He’s already at 188 shots this season, a career high. For poops and giggles, if Zucc shot at his career 10.9% average, he’d have 20 goals, not 15 goals. It’s amazing how much a 3% drops impacts goal scoring.

With the move to speed and skill at forward, Zuccarello has been putting together possibly one of the finest playmaking seasons we’ve seen in a while here in New York. Clearly one of the top forwards on the team, he is going to be counted upon to continue the production in the playoffs. With Carey Price looming, the Rangers are going to need Zucc to be at his best.

"What a year for Mats Zuccarello", 5 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.
Categories : Players


  1. Pas44 says:

    Have you ever seen a player that has more fans in every city he plays?


    I think there should be some award given to him for this.

  2. Walt says:

    The little guy has a pair of beach balls in his jock, I wish it were contagious!!!!!!!!

    The smallest man in height, but the biggest heart of them all. Can you imagine if Kreider played with Zucc’s vigor, and emotion, how great he would be????????

    Did I ever tell anyone how much I love Zucc, and this game?????

    • Jerry says:

      You’re 100% right Walt. Zucc show up EVERY game and doesn’t do an invisible act.
      What a sad testament when the player with the smallest stature plays bigger than everyone else on the team.
      (I have to exclude Glass in that comment).

      • Pas44 says:

        Mark Pavelich

        • Jerry says:

          Good comp.

        • Peter says:

          PAC was a tough little SOB, that’s for sure.

          Zucc has a rare combination of tenacity and a great ability to see the ice.

          To the rest of his mates: Be like Mats!

          • Peter says:

            Dang auto correct

          • paulronty says:

            Yes, his on ice vision is elite, which is why he is one of the best passers in the game. If God had given Zucchie a bigger body, he would be Jaromir Jagr or Gordie Howe.

            • Hatrick Swayze says:

              edit: Yes, his on ice vision is elite, which is why he is one of the best passers in the game. If genetics had given Zucchie a bigger body, he would be Jaromir Jagr or Gordie Howe.

              ^just for a laugh, no offense intended

  3. SalMerc says:

    He is sooo good, I almost think he needs to play a few games with Hayes and Grabner.

    • paulronty says:

      Been advocating a line of Hayes-Miller & Zucchie for some time now, Grabner back to the fourth line.

      • SalMerc says:

        I think Miller can make some plays on his own. Grabner is in such a funk right now, it would be good to get him on the right track before the playoffs begin. Just for a game or two, just to get his confidence a boost. I also think Vesey would work well with Zucc. Hell, I may be able to score a goal or two with Zucc’s passing.

      • Jack says:

        My guess is that line could very well happen if the series against MTL if it’s going south early on in the series. If Hayes and JT keep setting up Grabs to come up with nothing besides the team tanking then I would think that combo would happen to start a period or in game adjustment. I’m 60% positive that would be one of the lines for next season in the top 6 because at this point with the flux of forwards and the more offensive powering of Hayes and JT that this is the next step for those two.

  4. Rangers_Underscore says:

    Zuc, is one of the only players we can all agree on! He has more heart than almost anyone.
    In my opinion, he should be the captain!

  5. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Zuccarello wow, I mean shit he’s a Hockey Player we all could play with and have fun. He does what it takes game after game to win. He makes guys better he drives he’s not a passenger he drives his line and this team. A lot of people on this site (which I love great job Dave and the guys) get on Krieder, JT and Hayes wanting more from them. Ok, but they are still young in their careers and still out perform STEPAN. Who held out for more money his right and doesn’t drive his line or this team. Doesn’t go to dirty areas or battle along the boards like the others do. But makes what 2 million dollars more. Some people actually advised trading Zuccarello. That’s sic shit. Zuccarello puts in the work, this man put in the work and does the heavy lifting. I would lace them up with Zuccarello because I know he has my back. When has Stepan have any bodies back? Zuccarello 4ever.

    • Jack says:

      It’s simple, Stepan isn’t close to anybody outside the rink or locker-room so he doesn’t care to get roughed up. After Zucc went down if you noticed how Brass would fly into a scrum and put his head down to cover Zucc. It’s why you can see teammates chilling together during the season or in the summer. Then you have Stepan making fun of himself because ONLY Kreider showed up to his wedding while Zucc is hanging out with rookie Hayes. Noticed no vets ever talk sbout Step or taking him under his wing? The guy has his locker at the far end for a reason….

      Haha I don’t even like how you threw shade at Hayes game because any 3c who has over 30 points and gets used against top 6’s is fine with me. Let alone one that is about to score 50 points, check what other 3c’s average in three seasons. Hayes is going to replace Stepanby next year and JT looking great next to him doesn’t help out Step’s case.

      Ps you can’t be a Stepan and Zucc fan rolled into one, it just doesn’t fly, it’s a 180 difference between those two.

  6. Rangers Fan in San Jose says:

    And don’t forget, he took a hometown discount on his last contract to stay! Class act for sure! Zuuuuuuccc!

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Forgot about that. You don’t trade this man you build with him he’s the foundation the rock. He’s what you want the young players coming in strive to be like. Hard working shift after shift RIDE or DiE. Zuccarello 4ever.

      • Jack says:

        Agreed! Expect certain fans to be like “oh well we didn’t get the job done, trade Zucc and let’s get us another top line winger for Step”.

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          Get a top center for Zuccarello or one who can finish. Trade Stepan for a RHD or 1st round pick(a young Dman).

  7. Reenavipul says:

    Sell high

    • Jack says:

      Stepan will be traded this summer, not our elite winger who represents NYR hockey on a friendly contract. I guess all I can tell you is wait and see after the draft about this 🙂

      • Reenavipul says:

        I’m saying deal both. The only consideration is that Zucc might have less wear on the tires due to easier schedule in Norway/Sweden.

        He will be 30.

        • supermaz says:

          You’re completely on your own with that thought. Zucc is the true captain of this team. McDonagh should be stripped of the C.

          • Reenavipul says:

            I am on my own on it, like I give a hang what y’all think. I don’t know if history will be on my side, but plenty of historical warning signs are flashing out there.