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RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FREE AGENT FORWARD MATS ZUCCARELLO
NEW YORK, March 28, 2013 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Mats Zuccarello.
Zuccarello, 25, registered 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points, along with 30 penalty minutes in 44 games with Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this season. He tied for fifth on Metallurg in goals, and ranked sixth on the team in points and assists. Zuccarello also registered two goals and two assists in seven playoff contests with Metallurg. He tied for second on the team in goals, third in points, and fourth in assists during the postseason.
The Oslo, Norway native returns to the Rangers where he has registered eight goals and 18 assists for 26 points, along with 10 penalty minutes in 52 career regular season contests from 2010-11 to 2011-12, after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent on May 26, 2010. Zuccarello tied for the team lead and tied for fourth among NHL rookies with nine power play assists in 2010-11. He also tied for fifth in the league with five shootout goals and second with three game-deciding goals in the shootout that season. Zuccarello tallied his first NHL point with a power play assist on December 27, 2010, against the Islanders, and notched his first NHL goal with the overtime, game-winner, and added an assist for his first career multi-point performance, on January 5, 2011 against Carolina.
The 5-7, 179-pounder has also skated in 73 career regular season games over two seasons with the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering 25 goals and 40 assists for 65 points, along with 38 penalty minutes. Last season, he ranked fifth on Connecticut in points (36) and power play goals (five), tied for fifth in assists (24), and was tied for sixth in goals (12) despite skating in only 37 AHL contests while splitting the season between the Rangers and Whale. Zuccarello made his North American debut on October 9, 2010, against Charlotte.
Prior to signing with the Rangers, Zuccarello skated in two seasons with MODO of the Swedish Elite League (SEL), registering 35 goals and 69 assists for 104 points, along with 100 penalty minutes in 90 career regular season games. In 2009-10, he captured the Guldhjälmen award as the league’s Most Valuable Player after leading the SEL in scoring with 64 points in 55 games. Zuccarello has also represented Norway in several international tournaments, including at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.
AP photo, above.