The Minnesota Wild announced today that right winger Mats Zuccarello,36, has signed a two-year contract extension. His new contract is valued at $8.25 million with a $4.125 average annual value. This extension brings him through the 2025-26 season. It also includes a no-move clause for both years.
Zuccarello has been a staple on the top line with Ryan Hartman and Kirill Kaprizov. After playing for nine seasons with the New York Rangers and two games with the Dallas Stars, Zuccarello signed with the Wild starting in the 2019-20 season. After average production that year, Kaprizov joined the team from Russia the next season, and that’s when Zuccarello’s on-ice performance was reinvigorated.
Ever since Zuccarello and Kaprizov discovered the chemistry between them, Zuccarello’s career has taken off. The 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons were the two best seasons of his entire career. During the 2021-22 season, Zuccarello scored a career-high 79 points with 24 goals and a career-high 55 assists.
While Zuccarello is in his mid-thirties, there is no worry that he will drop off his production anytime soon. It seems that as long as he can skate with his linemate and best friend, Kaprizov, there will continue to be chemistry between them. As it stands, they’re both slated to be hitting free agency during the same summer. It will also be the first season with more money available to re-sign players. Kaprizov will be looking at a large payday that offseason. If Zuccarello can keep up the on-ice production, he could potentially sign another deal despite being near 40 that year.
Now that Zuccarello has been re-signed, attention will be shifted to what the Wild will do with the other two veteran players who will be headed to free agency next summer: Marcus Foligno and Ryan Hartman. With the heavy salary cap burden not going to be lifted until the summer of 2025, who will the Wild choose to re-sign next, and what will their contract look like? With Zuccarello’s signing out of the way so early, more contract news could come only partway through the season. Bill Guerin has confirmed that talks have been started with both Foligno and Hartman.