As the NHL prepares for a new season scheduled to start in mid-January, the Tribune-Review will offer Penguins A to Z, a player-by-player look at all 48 individuals under NHL contract with the organization, from mid-level prospect Niclas Almari to high-profile trade acquisition Jason Zucker.
Position: Left winger
Weight: 192 pounds
2019-20 NHL statistics: 60 games, 41 points (20 goals, 21 assists)
Contract: Third year of a five-year contract with a salary cap hit of $5.5 million. Pending unrestricted free agent in 2023
Acquired: Trade, Feb. 10, 2020
Last season: Upon his arrival to Pittsburgh via trade from the Minnesota Wild, Jason Zucker looked awful.
He even said so himself.
“I thought my hands were terrible,” he said following his first game with the team, a 2-1 overtime loss at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 11. “I mishandled pretty much every puck I touched.
“I think I’ll be better next game.”
Zucker made good on that notion three nights later when he scored two goals, helping the Penguins beat the Montreal Canadiens at home, 4-1.
In his brief time with the Penguins during the regular season before play was halted in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Zucker primarily played on the top line with center Sidney Crosby and showed he was more than capable of playing with one of the most skilled, cerebral and demanding centers in the…