Coyotes trade Jason Zucker to Predators for draft pick

Mar 8, 2024, 10:55 AM | Updated: 11:41 am

David Rittich of the LA Kings attempts to defend as Jason Zucker of the Arizona Coyotes shoots duri...

David Rittich of the LA Kings attempts to defend as Jason Zucker of the Arizona Coyotes shoots during a shootout during the NHL Global Series match between Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings at Rod Laver Arena on September 23, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

(Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes have traded forward Jason Zucker to the Nashville Predators for draft compensation, the team announced.

The Coyotes received 2024 sixth-round draft pick originally owned by Dallas. There was no salary retention in the deal for Arizona, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Zucker was held out of Tuesday’s matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks and a Thursday game against the Minnesota Wild ahead of Friday’s trade deadline.

The 32-year-old was someone who even when he signed with Arizona last summer looked like a trade candidate as a veteran on a one-year contract. Zucker was signed on a one-year, $5.3 million deal.

Along with defenseman Matt Dumba and forward Alex Kerfoot, Zucker was one of three additions in free agency made by general manager Bill Armstrong, the first since his rebuild to add experience and impact players to the roster.

After 27 goals and 21 assists for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, Zucker has had more of a down year so far in 2023-24, posting nine goals and 16 assists in 51 games.

The Coyotes were well on their way to improving for the third straight season, following the first two years of head coach Andre Tourigny’s tenure resulting in 57 points and 70, respectively. But Arizona’s 14-game losing streak, the longest in Coyotes history of just strictly losses, ran from late January all the way through the end of February . Now the Coyotes are on a pace to slightly grow on last year’s 70-point finish instead of smashing it.

The departure of Zucker brings in a draft pick return that is nothing new to the Coyotes over the time Armstrong has held the GM job since 2020.

The Coyotes own 34 picks in the next three NHL Drafts with 20 of them coming in the first three rounds.

Arizona kicked off its rebuild then, trading several significant pieces over the next two-plus seasons to refresh a roster built around youth and a growing prospect pool from all the selections acquired. A few of the young players that figure to be around for the long-term picture are playing for Arizona this season, such as 2022 No. 3 overall pick Logan Cooley and 2021 ninth overall selection Dylan Guenther.

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