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NHL PLAYER, Mats Zuccarello

BIOGRAPHY

Born Sep 01, 1987 -- Oslo, Norway

Mats André Zuccarello Aasen (born September 1, 1987) is a Norwegian professional ice hockey winger currently playing for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Prior to joining the NHL, he played for Modo Hockey in the Swedish Elite League. In 2010, he won the Guldhjälmen (Golden Helmet), which is awarded annually to the most valuable player in the Swedish Hockey League.  

Zuccarello grew up in the suburbs of Løren in Grorud Valley, Oslo. He is of Sicilian and Norwegian ancestry.   At five-years-old, he started playing hockey in Hasle-Løren. After some years in Hasle-Løren, he started playing for Vålerenga, where he stayed until the end of lower secondary school. By that time, he had been scouted by Frisk Asker, which offered him a scholarship at the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, which he accepted.  

After three seasons in the GET-ligaen in Norway, Zuccarello signed with Modo Hockey of the Elitserien, Sweden's premier league. In his first season with Modo, he ranked third in team scoring with 40 points in 35 games. The following season, he led the team with 23 goals. With a league-leading 64 points, he was awarded the Guldhjälmen as the league's most valuable player, as voted by Elitserien players.  

In the summer of 2010, Zuccarello was signed as a free agent by the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL) to a two-year, entry-level contract. He started the 2010–11 season with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale, the Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, to adapt to the North American style of hockey and rink dimensions. On December 22, 2010, he was called up to the Rangers following an injury to right winger Marián Gáborík. He made his NHL debut on December 23, 2010, against the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the seventh Norwegian player to play in the NHL, as well as the second undrafted one.  

Source: Wikipedia

He earned his first NHL point on December 27th, 2010, tying defenceman Anders Myrvold for the Norwegian player with the fewest number of games played before recording an NHL point. The Rangers won the game 7–2. Nine days later, in his sixth game, Zuccarello scored his first NHL goal against goaltender Cam Ward three minutes into overtime, leading the Rangers to a 2–1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. On April 1, 2011 he was reassigned to Connecticut after playing 41 games for the Rangers.   On April 13, 2011, Zuccarello became only the second Norwegian to take part in NHL post-season action when the Rangers lost 2–1 against the Washington Capitals.  

On June 1, 2012, Zuccarello confirmed that he had signed a two-year deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). However, he returned to the NHL and the Rangers after the 2012–13 NHL lockout.  

Zuccarello re-signed with the Rangers at the end of the 2012–13 season on a one-year deal, worth $1.15 million. The 2013–14 season turned out to be a breakout season for Zuccarello. He tallied career highs in goals, assists and team-highs in points, as his contributions helped the Rangers reach the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, where they faced-off against the Los Angeles Kings. Although New York lost the series 4–1, Zuccarello made history by becoming the first Norwegian to ever participate in a Stanley Cup Final. His all-around game also took a step forward throughout the season, as he established himself as a hard worker with the ability to get under the skin of his opponents. His work was recognized by being awarded the 2013–14 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award.  

On July 22, 2014, Zuccarello agreed to a one-year deal with the Rangers worth $3.5 million.  

During the 2014-15 season, Zuccarello agreed to a 4-year, $18 million contact worth ($4.5 million a year) that extends through the 2018-19 season.

NEWS

Zuccarello guides Rangers to big win in Pittsburgh December 06, 2017

Mats Zuccarello was named the 1st star of the game last night, as the New York Rangers came from behind to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3. The 30-year-old winger tallied a goal and an assist in the contest, along with a +2 rating and 3 shots on net. The Oslo-native has been in excellent form of late, registering 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) and a +9 rating in his last 10 games.

For more on Zuccarello and last night’s contest, check out the nhl.com story here.

 

Zuccarello shows off his multi-sport skills in celebrity game August 07, 2017

Mats Zuccarello proved that he has a bag of tricks in more than one sport this past weekend, contributing a major dose of offensive flair in a celebrity soccer match in Norway. The talented New York Rangers winger showcased a ton of skill on the pitch, scoring a goal and adding two assists in the contest. The 29-year-old is coming off of an NHL season that saw him set a career-high in assists with 44.

For more on Zuccarello, keep reading the nhl.com story here

Lundqvist and Zuccarello give Rangers first win May 03, 2017

Henrik Lundqvist was solid between the pipes and Mats Zuccarello supplied the offence, as the New York Rangers climbed back into their Eastern Conference Semifinals series with a 4-1 defeat of the Ottawa Senators. Zuccarello got the Rangers off on the right foot, scoring the game’s first goal before adding an assist on the second. He would eventually go on to be named the 1st star of the contest. Up early, Lundqvist would hold down the fort the rest of the way, steering aside 26 of the 27 shots he faced for his 5th win of the 2017 NHL Playoffs.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here

Zuccarello answers the bell with Game 6 heroics April 24, 2017

Mats Zuccarello gave the New York Rangers all the offence they would need on Saturday, scoring two goals in a series-clinching, 3-1 defeat of the Montreal Canadiens. Down 1-0 heading into the 2nd period, the Oslo-native took matters into his own hands, scoring back-to-back goals to give the Rangers the lead. He would go on to be named the 1st star of the contest.

For more on Zuccarello and Saturday’s game, check out the nhl.com recap here

Zuccarello guides Rangers to big win April 03, 2017

Mats Zuccarello helped the New York Rangers secure at a minimum the first Wildcard spot last night, tallying 3 assists in a 4-3 win over the Flyers. The Oslo-native, who had a hand in the Rangers’ first 3 goals, would eventually be named the game’s 1st star. Zuccarello has been on fire to end the season, registering 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) in his last 10 games. The crafty winger has already set new career-highs in assists (44) and shots on net (188).

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here.  

Zuccarello comes up big in Rangers’ win February 20, 2017

Mats Zuccarello played the hero last night, scoring the winning goal in the Rangers 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. The 29-year-old winger broke the deadlock midway through the 3rd period, giving New York its 7th victory in the last 8 games. The goal was Zuccarello’s 12th of the season, and his third game-winner. The Oslo-native currently sits 2nd among Rangers players in points (43), and is 1st in assists (31).

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here

 

Zuccarello and Lundqvist lead Rangers to win January 24, 2017

Mats Zuccarello scored the game-winning goal and Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 36 shots, as the New York Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2. Zuccarello was named the game’s 2nd star, scoring a big goal early in the 3rd period that would eventually become the game winner. The speedy winger is currently on an impressive point streak, tallying a goal and seven assists in his last six games. Lundqvist, meanwhile, has been on a mini streak of his own, winning his last three games with a .956 save percentage in that span.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here.

Zuccarello leads the attack in Rangers’ romp November 16, 2016

Mats Zuccarello provided the New York Rangers with an offensive spark last night, scoring a goal and adding two assists in a 7-2 walloping of the Vancouver Canucks.  The speedy winger would go on to be named the third star of the contest. Coming off of his best offensive season to date in 2015-16, the Oslo, Norway-product has picked up right where he left off, tallying 13 points in 17 games thus far.  

For more on Zuccarello and last night’s Rangers’ win, check out the nhl.com article here

Zuccarello leads Europe to 2nd straight win September 20, 2016

Mats Zuccarello scored a goal and added an assist, as Team Europe beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime. The product of Oslo, Norway initially gave Europe the lead with a knuckleball shot that beat the Czech goalie early in the 3rd.  After Martin Hanzal forced overtime later in the period, Zuccarello came through in the clutch, making the key, breakaway pass on the game-winning goal. The speedy winger would go on to be named the 2nd star of the contest.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the ice.wch2016.com recap here

Zuccarello guides Norway into 2018 Olympics September 07, 2016

Mats Zuccarello scored a goal in Norway's must-win finale against France in Group F, guiding his team to a 2-1 win and a berth in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The 29-year-old winger would go on to finish the round robin tournament with a group-high, 6 points. The Oslo-native is coming off of an excellent 2015-16 campaign where he registered career-highs in goals (25) and points (61).

For more on Zuccarello, keep reading the cbssports.com article here

Zuccarello earns Masterson Trophy nomination June 10, 2016

Mats Zucarello was nominated in May for the 2016 Masterson Trophy, the award handed out to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. After recovering from a serious head injury suffered in the 2014-15 NHL Playoffs, the Swedish winger bounced back in a big way this season, recording career highs in both goals (26) and points (61).

For more on Zuccarello, check out the todaysslapshot.com article here

Zuccarello and Lundqvist help Rangers clinch playoff berth April 05, 2016

Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves and Mats Zuccarello scored the winning goal, as the New York Rangers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 last night. It has been a banner year for Zuccarello, the speedy winger from Oslo, Norway.  Through 79 games he has easily surpassed his career-high in goals (26), and tied his 2013-14 career-high in points with 59.  Lundqvist, meanwhile, has proven again this season that he is one of the most consistent goalies in the NHL. The Swedish star now has 11 straight seasons with a GAA under 2.5, and a 7th straight season with a save percentage at .920 or higher.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here

Zuccarello and Lundqvist star in Rangers’ win March 24, 2016

Mats Zuccarello tallied a goal and an assist and Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves, as the New York Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-2.  Lundqvist was named 1st star of the contest after coming up with some clutch saves down the stretch. Zuccarello, meanwhile, scored a goal for the 2nd straight game, and raised his point total to 56. The speedy Swedish winger has already set a career-high in goals with 24, and is on pace for a career-high in points.

For more on last night’s game, check out the espn.com article here

Zuccarello does it all in Rangers’ triumph March 09, 2016

Mats Zuccarello was named the second star of the game last night, in the New York Rangers 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The shifty winger scored a goal and added two assists in the contest, along with three shots on net. The Swedish star has already registered a career-high in goals (22), and is on pace to top his 2013-14 point total of 59.

For more on last night’s game, check out the nhl.com story here

Zuccarello leads the charge in Rangers victory February 19, 2016

Mats Zuccarello scored a goal and added two assists last night, as the New York Rangers cruised to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The 28-year-old winger finished the game with a +3 rating, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots and 2 shots on net. In his last four games, the product of Oslo, Norway has 2 goals, 5 assists and a +4 rating.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com recap here

Zuccarello rises to the occasion in overtime December 23, 2015

Mats Zuccarello scored a power play goal 2:37 into overtime last night, as the New York Rangers defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. The Oslo-native would go on to be named the 2nd star of the contest.  The shifty winger is on pace for his best NHL campaign in both goals and points. Through 36 games he already has 15 goals, just 4 off his career-best of 19 in 2013-14.

For more on last night’s game, check out the nhl.com story here

Zuccarello rewarded for excellent week November 16, 2015

Mats Zuccarello was named the 2nd star of the week on Monday, after leading the league with 5 assists and ranking second in points (7). The Swedish-born winger was instrumental in the Rangers four consecutive wins, as well as their 9-game winning streak dating back to late October.  In 18 games this year, Zuccarello has averaged a point per game (9 goals, 9 assists) and leads his team in almost every offensive category.

 

For more on Zuccarello, keep reading the nhl.com article here

Lundqvist, Zuccarello lead Rangers to victory October 23, 2015

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 shots and Mats Zuccarello had 2 assists in the New York Rangers 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes last night. After falling behind 1-0 in the first period, Lundqvist kept his team in the game, blanking the Coyotes the rest of the way. In 7 starts this season, the Swedish goalie has an excellent save percentage of .938 and goals-against average of 2.00. Meanwhile, Zuccarello sparked the offense with the primary assists on two of the Rangers first three goals. He is also off to solid start this season with 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 8 games.

For more on last night’s game, check out the nhl.com story here

Zuccarello shines in return September 25, 2015

Mats Zuccarello looked like his old self last night, scoring a goal and an assist (as well as a shootout goal) in the Rangers 4-3 defeat to the Boston Bruins. Playing in his first game since suffering a season-ending injury on April 24th, the Swedish winger was one of the more dynamic players on the ice, and went on to be named the 2nd star of the match.

For more on Zuccarello, keep reading the cbc.ca story here

Lundqvist and Zuccarello key for Rangers in 2015-16 August 28, 2015

Despite coming up short in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2014-15, the New York Rangers have reason to be optimistic going into this season.  For one, Henrik Lundqvist continues to be one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. The Swedish netminder showed no sign of decline last year, improving on both his save percentage (.922) and goals against average (2.25) from the 2013-14 season.

Meanwhile, the imminent return of Mats Zuccarello to the Rangers lineup will be a big boost to the team.  The crafty winger will be a key cog in the team’s top six, as well as their 1st power play unit.

For more on Lundqvist and Zuccarello, check out the nhl.com story here

Zuccarello given clean bill of health August 21, 2015

Mats Zuccarello has made a full recovery from an injury sustained in the playoffs last season, and all indications point to him being ready for the start of training camp next month. The 27-year-old winger had a solid season for the Rangers in 2014-15, picking up 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists) in 78 games. He also set a career in plus/minus with a rating of +17.

For more on Zuccarello, keep reading the nhl.com story here