Athletics & Recreation / News

Hockey players Zucker, Shore, sign with NHL

Junior center Drew Shore has signed with the Florida Panthers. Photo: Rich Clarkson & Associates

Two University of Denver hockey players are going pro.

Sophomore forward Jason Zucker has signed with the Minnesota Wild, and junior center Drew Shore has signed with the Florida Panthers. Both players have decided to forgo their final years of collegiate eligibility.

Zucker is expected to make his NHL debut Thursday.

“After two successful seasons at the University of Denver, Jason, his representation, and Wild management have agreed that it was the right time for Jason to turn pro,” says Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. “He has achieved great personal success in a short period of time at both the collegiate and national team levels. We are very excited to have Jason under contract and look forward to seeing his development within the Wild organization.”

Zucker, who was drafted in the second round (59th overall) by Minnesota in 2010, finished his DU career with 91 points in 78 games. He helped Denver to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances and 50 career wins during his two-year career.

“I’m very excited to turn pro and sign with Minnesota,” Zucker says. “I loved every second of my two years at Denver, and I’m anxious to begin the next chapter of my hockey career.”

Shore, meanwhile, will report to the Panthers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, to play out the remainder of the 2011–12 season.

“We are excited for Drew and his family,” says DU head coach George Gwozdecky. “Drew was one of the best players in the WCHA the past two seasons, and he’s ready to take his game to the professional level. He set a standard as a student-athlete for all Colorado youth hockey players to achieve.”

Shore, who was drafted in the second round (44th overall) by Florida in 2009, finished his DU career with 118 points in 123 games. He helped Denver to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and 77 career wins during his three-year career.

“Drew had an impressive season at the University of Denver, and we’re excited to officially sign him as a part of the Panthers’ organization,” says Florida Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon. “He’s a skilled playmaker with a nice, well-rounded game. He will report to San Antonio and get an opportunity to compete in some professional games.”

Shore led Denver to a 25-14-4 record this season, amassing a career-high 53 points, 11 power-play goals and seven game-winning goals. He was named to the All-WCHA Second Team for the second straight year after tallying 37 points in 27 league games. In 2010–11, Shore led DU with 46 points and was named to the All-WCHA Second Team. Shore had 19 points during his freshman season in 2009–10.

“I want to thank my teammates, coaches, faculty and staff for an amazing three years at DU,” Shore says. “It was definitely the three best years of my life, and I feel I have really developed as a person and hockey player. Forgoing my senior season was a tough decision, but DU will always have a special place in my heart.”


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