Jason Zucker (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
Blink and you’ll miss this Jason Zucker goal. Off the opening faceoff Sunday, Zucker picked up a loose puck, spun Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba into the ground and then buried a shot past goaltender Michael Hutchinson.
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:
Rarely do you see a player score so early in a game that the broadcast hasn’t even had time to adjust the game clock. But were Fox Sports Wild to have kept up with Zucker on the play, they would have shown that the 23-year-old scored just 10 seconds into the contest.
It was Zucker’s first goal of the season and third point in his past three games. With Minnesota this season, Zucker has taken on a bigger role than ever before. Early in the season he is averaging more than two minutes of ice time more per game and finds himself as a consistent member of the Wild top-six for the first time in his career.