31 year-old, Mats Zuccarello, a New York Ranger, was traded on Saturday, February 23rd, to the Dallas Stars as a forward, and ended his 9 years as a NYR. In return, the NYRs received two conditional draft picks, a second-rounder for 2019 and a third-round pick for 2020.
The deal was that if the Dallas Stars win two rounds in the playoffs – and Zuccarello plays more than half of the games – the 2019 second-rounder becomes a first. If Zuccarello loves Dallas and decides to stay – the 2020 third-round pick turns into a first.
This deal might end up being just a 2nd and a 3rd with Zuccarello ending up with another team next year. It might end up being a 1st and a 3rd, or a 1st and a 2nd, or a 1st and a 3rd with Zuccarello returning to the NYR.
Zuccarello was one of the most coveted scoring wingers at the moment and Dallas was lucky to land him, Dallas having the 3rd worst offense in the NHL this season. To make the trade even better, the Stars didn’t need to overpay either.
Zuccarello looked amazing for the first period and a half as a Star on Sunday, while he scored a goal and an assist against Chicago. Unfortunately, he then blocked a shot, broke his right arm and is out for a minimum of four weeks along with a surgery on Tuesday. Because of this injury, it will keep him out of the lineup against his former team when the Rangers visit on March 5th.
Despite some pushing on Monday, they could not make another move before the deadline and after several poor drafts they don’t have an impressive team along with not having their second-and third-round picks in each of the next two drafts.
In 46 games this season, Zuccarello has 11 goals and 26 assists warming up after a slow start. He has 352 points in 509 career games placing himself as a tenacious offensive force for the Rangers who signed him as a free agent in May 2010.
Zuccarello is a Forward on a pace for a 65-point year (if he played in all 82 games), is a perennial 50+ point player, and is easily one of the most skilled Rangers to wear a jersey in recent years. We’ll see how Zuccarello’s arm heals, how soon he is back on the ice and how the season plays out. The Stars will certainly have their fingers crossed, as it will affect both play on the ice during the season and their draft picks of the future.