Monday, June 9, 2014

Mats Zuccarello Jersey And Stick Card

I should have kept that Derek Stepan jersey and stick card... I would now have four of those - all of them New York Rangers players.

In tonight's 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, giving the California team a 3-0 Stanley Cup Finals lead, the Rangers' best forward was Mats Zuccarello - though he did give away the puck a bit in the first period, he finished the night with 4 of his team's 32 shots on Jonathan Quick, none of which penetrated the net.

Undrafted, the Norwegian forward has made a mark for himself, with 93 points (on 30 goals) in his first 144 NHL games in parts of 4 seasons. He was a point-per-game player in the AHL as well as in the Swedish elite league, and this year he had 19 goals, 40 assists and 59 points in 77 games in New York. At 26 years of age, he has grown into his own, though you could argue growing into a 5'7'', 161-pound frame isn't all that hard.

And yet, in these playoffs, he has shown grit, maturity, and a willingness to play in high-traffic areas guys much bigger tended to shy away from.

And so I bring you this card, from Panini's 2011-12 Luxury Suite set (card #14), featuring a game-worn white jersey swatch with a piece of game-used stick:
I got it in a trade for 15 Score Hot Rookies cards (different years).

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