Mats Zuccarello, Ice Hockey | Swedish expert opens his eyes to Norway’s superstar:

The hockey star has already set a new personal points record in the NHL, and is about to deliver a season out of the ordinary for his Minnesota Wild.

The Norwegian, on the other hand, has received less attention in his home country, but “across the pond” Zuccarello’s name is more respected than ever.

One who follows the NHL and the Norwegian star closely is Expressen journalist Gunnar Nordström and he does not spare the praise of compatriot Zuccarello:

– It is insanely impressive that as a 34-year-old he sets a personal record in both goals, assists and points, in his 13th NHL season. An incredible season, Nordström tells Nettavisen.

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See more of Zuccarello’s best involvements in the window below:

PS! Zuccarello took his 500th point in the NHL on Saturday night.

– Top ten in the Nordics

Nordström currently lives in Los Angeles and follows the world’s best hockey league for one of the largest newspapers in Sweden.

– He is like a good vintage wine, which only gets better and better. Only Kirill Kaprizov has accounted for several points for Minnesota, which has been one of the league’s best players, that says a lot about Zuccarello’s performance.

– What status does he have in the US at the moment?

– It happens that European players from smaller ice hockey nations get little attention “over here” and are forgotten, but here Mats is an exception. He is a highly respected name after several good seasons in the NHL. He is often featured in the TV studios in the largest channels here in the United States.

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With his 72 points in the basic game, 22 goals and 50 assists, there are only five other Nordic players who have more points than the Norwegian. Swedes Mika Zibanejad (75 points) and Elias Lindholm (74 points) are both ahead, but have played almost ten games more than Zuccarello.

The Finns Mikko Rantanen (87 points), Aleksander Barkov (80 points) and Sebastian Aho (75 points) are all higher on the overall list, but the Expressen journalist believes that there are few other players from the Nordics who are more important than the man from Oslo.

– He is well in a top ten position among the best Nordic players in the NHL, and there are many good players out there.

Great in Sweden

An important time in Zuccarello’s pursuit of the NHL dream took place in the Swedish top club MoDo. There, the wing quickly became a profile after the change from Frisk / Asker, and ended with 104 points in 90 games in the SHL.

– Mats Zuccarello is very popular in Sweden after what he achieved in MoDo, and through his friendship with the legend Henrik Lundqvist. It’s not just for his brilliant play, but it’s also because of the person he is and the energy he has around him. He is sincerely loved by the Swedish press, says Nordström.

– Sweden is definitely seen as the hockey big brother to Norway. But would Zuccarello get a place on the Swedish national team, in the form he is in now?

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– Yes, I absolutely believe that he had. He is a type of player that is difficult to find, which implies a good understanding of the game and has an x-factor that can decide matches on its own. He has extreme cutting-edge skills, praises the expert.

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Nordström points to Zuccarello’s ability to get the most out of the top skills he has here:

– Despite his size, he has never been afraid to go ahead with his dazzling speed, cheeky feints and phenomenal passes. I also think he has gained a lot from being a good person, and having a smiling nature.

Stanley Cup opportunities

After six years in the big club New York Rangers, where in many ways became a club icon, Zuccarello has found himself more and more at ease in Norwegian-friendly Minnesota. After a “flick” in the Dallas Stars, things have calmed down and the Norwegian has shown it on the field.

The points have doubled after his first season at the club, and the team is well on its way to its second playoff in a row. There he is chasing his first Stanley Cup trophy in his career.

– Minnesota can go a long way in the Stanley Cup this year. They made several good signings on “trading deadline day” and brought in goalkeeper Marc-André Fleury, defender Jacob Middleton and forward Nicolas Deslauriers. They now have one of the league’s best goalkeeper pairs in Fleury and Cam Talbot.

– The reinforcements forward in the field also mean that you have more strings at play, which means that opponents can be severely punished if you only focus on the front line with Zuccarello, Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala. It will be exciting to follow them further.

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The playoffs in the NHL are set to begin at the beginning of next month, and will after all sun marks go with a Norwegian as a key player in one of the teams.

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