Mats Zuccarello Aasen
Zuccarello with the Rangers, February 2011
September 1, 1987 |
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)|
|New York Rangers
Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Frisk Tigers (GET)
Modo Hockey (SEL)
Mats André Zuccarello Aasen (born September 1, 1987) is a Norwegian professional ice hockey winger. He currently plays for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is the seventh Norwegian to play in the NHL. Before the NHL he played for Modo Hockey in the Swedish Elitserien for two seasons. In 2010, he won the Guldhjälmen (Golden Helmet), which is awarded annually to the most valuable player in the Elitserien, as decided by a vote of its players.
Early life 
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 the Frisk Tigers, who offered him a scholarship at the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, which he accepted.
Playing career 
Norway and Sweden 
Zuccarello began playing full-time for the Tigers in the GET-ligaen, Norway's premiere league, as an 18-year-old. He scored 8 points over 21 games as a rookie in 2005–06. The following season, he improved to 59 points over 43 games, third in league scoring behind Jonas Solberg Andersen and Mathis Olimb. In 2007–08, Zuccarrello helped the Tigers to the best regular season record in the league. Zucarello finished third in league scoring a second consecutive season with 64 points, as he and Tigers teammates Chris Abbott, Cam Abbott, and Marcus Eriksson ranked as the top four GET-ligaen scorers. Zuccarello added 27 points in 15 playoff games, as the Tigers advanced to the Finals, where they were defated in six games by the Storhamar Dragons.
After three seasons in the GET-ligaen, Zuccarello signed with Modo Hockey of the Elitserien, Sweden's premiere 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.
New York Rangers 
In the summer of 2010, he 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 (later renamed Connecticut Whale), the Rangers' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate to learn the North American 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, and the second undrafted one. Zuccarello logged 17 minutes and 52 seconds of ice time and registered two shots on goal in his NHL debut. As the game remained tied after overtime, Zuccarello scored in the shootout against Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis. The Rangers lost the game 4–3. Though he was re-assigned to the Whale immediately after the game, the Rangers recalled him once more for their next game on December 27, 2010 against the New York Islanders. He earned his first NHL assist during the contest, 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 postseason action when the New York Rangers lost 2–1 against the Washington Capitals.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 
International play 
Zuccarello has represented Norway at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Canada, the 2009 IIHF World Championship, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany. He had to withdraw from the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia due a hand fracture.
Career statistics 
Regular season and playoffs 
|2010–11||New York Rangers||NHL||42||6||17||23||4||1||0||0||0||2|
|2011–12||New York Rangers||NHL||10||2||1||3||6||—||—||—||—||—|
International statistics 
|2004||Norway Jr.||WJC U18||6||0||2||2||8|
|2005||Norway Jr.||WJC U18 (D1)||5||2||3||5||6|
|2007||Norway Jr.||WJC (D1)||5||2||5||7||2|
- Råve, Geir (February 6, 2008). "Färjestad sikler på Zuccarello Aasen". ABC Nyheter (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- Fossheim, Kenneth (June 11, 2010). "Guttedrømmen går i oppfyllelse". Groruddalen (in Norwegian). Retrieved December 23, 2010.
- Cerny, J. (December 22, 2010). "Zuccarello getting first shot at NHL". New York Rangers. Retrieved December 22, 2010.
- "Zuccarello returned to Connecticut". New York Rangers. December 23, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
- "Zuccarello returns to Rangers roster". New York Rangers. December 27, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
- "NY Rangers 7, NY Islanders 2". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Olasveengen, F. "Norwegian NHL-records". NIHF. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- Podell, I. (January 5, 2011). "Zuccarello’s OT goal lifts Rangers over Hurricanes". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Zuccarello assigned to Whale". newyorkrangers.com. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- Corey Masisak (April 14, 2011). "Semin's OT goal lifts Caps past Rangers, 2–1". nhl.com. Retrieved 2011-04-14.