Two prospects, Jason Zucker and Zack Phillips suffered injuries after hits this weekend. Both will be okay and as of now will play in their next game. However, it's still a reminder of how fast things can change with young players from draft day to when they wear Iron Range Red.
Zucker's hit was delivered by Minnesota forward Kyle Rau in Denver's Friday night game with the Gophers and is easily the worse of the two.
Video courtesy of CJ Fogler (@cjzero)
The 59th overall pick by Minnesota was motionless for several minutes on the ice but was able to leave under his own power, much to the delight of the crowd at Magness Arena. Rau was suspended one game for the hit the day after after initially being given a five minute major for boarding and game misconduct.
Zucker also missed Saturday's game as a precaution. He did not suffer a concussion and appears to be on track to play next weekend according to those in the know about Denver hockey. Best of all, he tweeted this after Saturday's game:
Thanks for all the wishes everybody. Feeling better as of now, will have an update for you at a later time.
Unfortunately the video only shows the aftermath (the fight) and not the hit on Phillips but according to Station Nation it was not as bad as it could have been. That's a sigh of relief as the Wild's 2011 first round pick (28th overall) did score in the game (a 7-2 win for Saint John) and has 70 points (28G-42A) in 48 games.
UPDATE 2/15: Jason Zucker spoke to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post on Wednesday about his health after the Rau hit. He appears to be fine and ready to play this weekend. Zucker also stated that he did not lose consciousness, which is surprising given that he was motionless for several minutes and it goes against what Pioneer head coach George Gwozdecky said.