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04-20-2010, 06:57 AM
  #580
mikjo344
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Örnsköldsvik
Country: Sweden
Posts: 319
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For what it's worth;

Living in Örnsköldsvik, SWE (home town of MODO Hockey) I've seen most of MZA's games during his two seasons with MODO in SEL. Being a Rangers fan too and finding out he's headed for Broadway makes me thrilled!

My thoughts on MZA;
When he first got here, he was considered to be a 3rd/4th line player with some nice potential. However, it didn't take many exhibition games before he had made his way up playing on the top line along with ex-NHLer and ex-Ranger Niklas "Sunny" Sundström.

During the 08/09 season an ankle injury kept him sidelined for 10/15-ish games but he still managed to rack up 40 points in the 35 regular season games he played.

Here are some highlights from that season (MZA wearing #36, video made by yours truly):



His line with Sundström and fellow Norwegian Per-Åge Skröder was considered the top line in the league in 08/09.

In 09/10 he continued to develop in all areas carrying his team when key players were injured. The coaching staff responded giving him more responsibilities and ice time. In fact, not only did he finish first in scoring, he also led all forwards in ice time/game (22.16 min/g) during the 09/10 season. At one point, he also lead the league in hits.

He's gritty for his size, awesome balance, good stamina, very good puck control, poised with the puck, sees the ice well, very nice wrist shot (despite using a very long stick), mentally strong, unafraid (likes to cut in front of the net) and shows alot of heart.

One other nice quality to his game is that he can create scoring chances by himself while a player like Brunnström would be more dependent on his environment.

Here are some highlights from the the 08/09-09/10 seasons with Zuccarello:



Also, he's a real treat watching in practise. He always is one of the last guys to leave the ice and likes to stay behind to practise on break aways and wrist shots.

Any further comparisons with Ovechkin aside, Zuccarello likes to have a good time in practise and is often seen switching sticks with other players, picking "fake" fights (especially with ex-MODO player Victor Hedman) and being a little clown in general.

Here's a clip from a modo practise where MZA is stealing somebody's stick and having some fun.



and another one where he's fake fighting with Josh Green:



Now, for the down side of MZA's game, he tends to carry the puck too much at times. In a NHL environment he needs to get used to not having as much time with the puck as he's had over here in SEL. Other than that, and obviously his size, I consider him ready for making the leap across the pond.

MZA stats: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=10881

LGR!


Last edited by mikjo344: 04-20-2010 at 07:04 AM.
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