Jason Zucker embarrasses Jets defense, scores record-setting goal for Wild

Jared Clinton
Jason Zucker (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Jason Zucker’s greatest asset is his speed. The Minnesota Wild left winger is one of the fastest players in the league and can make something out of nothing thanks to his incredible wheels. But not even he could have expected to turn that speed into the fastest goal in Wild history.

To kick off Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, the Wild lost the opening faceoff, but a loose puck in the neutral zone squirted to Zucker. As soon as Zucker picked up the puck, he kicked into high gear and cut into the middle of the ice before absolutely embarrassing Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba with a between-the-legs move. Then one-on-one with goaltender Michael Hutchinson, Zucker made no mistake: Read more

Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien boards Wild’s Jason Pominville with dangerous hit

Jared Clinton
Dustin Byfuglien. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

Getting hit by Winnipeg Jets blueliner Dustin Byfuglien — all 6-foot-5, 260 pounds of him — looks like an unpleasant experience. It looks even more uncomfortable when Byfuglien leans into a player who’s already falling.

With the Jets leading the Wild late in the third period, Minnesota right winger Jason Pominville was skating down the left wing and into the Winnipeg zone when he was dropped to his stomach after taking a trip from Byfuglien. As Pominville scrambled to his feet and got up to his knees, Byfuglien slammed him from behind into the boards: Read more

Watch Jets’ Trouba blow up Lightning’s J.T. Brown with huge open-ice collision

Jared Clinton
Jacob Trouba and J.T. Brown collide (via NHL)

Tampa Bay’s J.T. Brown has been playing well early in the 2015-16 campaign. In six games, he has one goal, two points and, thus far, is on pace for a career year. But not everything has gone Brown’s way.

Take Friday’s tilt against the Winnipeg Jets, for instance. After Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba went back into the Winnipeg zone to retrieve a loose puck, he turned and cut back towards the neutral zone. Brown, who is known to have a bit of a physical edge, thought he had Trouba lined up. Problem is Brown stands 5-foot-10, 172 pounds to Trouba’s 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Suffice to say, Brown is probably regretting his decision: Read more

Futures mailbag: Ryan Pulock, Panther pride and more

Ryan Pulock (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s about that time again. For all of you who love prospects or just want to know what your NHL team has in the pipeline, the THN Futures mailbag is here for you. If you have any questions relating to the next generation of stars, hit me up on Twitter at @THNRyanKennedy and use the hashtag #thnfutures to make sure I see it.

Let’s get to this week’s questions.

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Rumor Roundup: Early deals set contract precedent for next summer’s free agents

Frans Nielsen (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

While the start of the 2016 NHL unrestricted free agency period is months away, speculation continues to percolate about several notable players who could be available. Much of the focus, of course, is on superstars like Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar, but there are others who could become hot commodities next July.

Citing the two-year, $12 million contract Tomas Plekanec recently signed with the Montreal Canadiens, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wonders how it could affect negotiations between the New York Islanders and center Frans Nielsen. The 31-year-old is in the final season of a four-year, $11-million deal, with an average cap hit of $2.75 million. While Friedman notes Plekanec has better offensive numbers than Nielsen, Isles coach Jack Capuano thinks highly of him.

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Watch Dustin Byfuglien’s monster hit on Jay Bouwmeester

Jared Clinton
Dustin Byfuglien. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester doesn’t find himself getting dropped by a bodycheck often, if for no other reason than there are few players who possess the speed, size and strength to knock the 6-foot-4, 212-pound blueliner off his feet. However, the Winnipeg Jets do have one player equal to the task of bowling over Bouwmeester, and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien did just that Sunday.

Late in the third period of the Sunday tilt between the Blues and Jets, Bouwmeester had taken the puck down the left wing boards with a head of steam. Approaching the net at a tight angle, he fired a rising shot at Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who turned the puck aside and sent it sailing toward the right wing corner. When Bouwmeester gave chase into the corner, a hard-charging Byfuglien lined him up and delivered a booming hit that sent Bouwmeester flying: Read more

Jets’ Nikolaj Ehlers scores first career goal with booming slap shot

Jared Clinton
Nikolaj Ehlers (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nikolaj Ehlers’ first career goal wasn’t fair.

That’s not to say the Winnipeg Jets rookie scored on a questionable play or that New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was interfered with. It wasn’t that Ehlers was given a wide-open net to throw the puck into, either. No, Ehlers’ goal wasn’t fair because there shouldn’t be a 19-year-old alive who can blast a puck past a world class netminder like Lundqvist with breathtaking pinpoint accuracy for their first career NHL marker.

In Tuesday’s game, with the Jets on the power play, Ehlers took a pass from Tyler Myers and walked in towards the Rangers’ net. With his head up, Ehlers unloaded an absolute bomb of a slap shot that went directly into the top corner: Read more

Prospect Need to Know: Kieffer Bellows is living up to his last name

Kieffer Bellows (photo courtesy Rena Laverty/USA Hockey)

Welcome back to the new iteration of The Hot List, now known as Prospect Need to Know. The NCAA season kicked off in earnest on the weekend and though I’d like a bit more of a sample size before handing out accolades, let it be known that Arizona prospect Maxim Letunov had a hat trick in his first game with UConn. And yes, Calgary Flames fans, Mark Jankowski is off to a hot start with Providence. There’s a lot of goodness to cover off this week, so let’s get right to it:

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