Jason Zucker Come On Down To Broadway to Join Nashville Predators

The proven winger joins the red hot Predators to help build for a playoff run in a trade with the Coyotes on Friday.

Feb 27, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Arizona Coyotes left wing Jason Zucker (16) plays the puck
Feb 27, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Arizona Coyotes left wing Jason Zucker (16) plays the puck / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

After an active Thursday, Barry Trotz continues to deal to help the Nashville Predators improve and make the playoff push.

Reports dripped Friday morning mear hours before the trade deadline that the Nashville Predators have acquired Jason Zucker from the Arizona Coyotes for a 2024 6th round pick.

The Predators already made one trade deadline addition to their roster on Thursday by acquiring Anthony Beauvillier from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 5th-Round pick in 2024.

Zucker is doing well despite the Coyotes being the 27th-ranked team in points in the league, and having the 3rd-lowest point total in the Western Conference. He's scored 9 goals and has 16 assists for 25 points.

It isn't terribly impressive but the Coyotes aren't an offensively adept team, and 25 points still put him 8th on the Predators. He's scored 20 or more goals six times in his career, and five times has eclipsed the 40 points mark.


Zucker needs a solid center to play with, but certainly has a scoring touch. When he's played with quality players he has been a very good contributor. Last season playing with the Penguins and being healthy, you saw a resurgent Zucker who potted 27 goals and 21 assists for 48 points in 78 games.

That however did lead the Coyotes to throw some money at him, offering him a 1 year deal worth $5.3-million. The Predators are on the hook for the rest of it as the Coyotes won't be retaining any salary. Previously it was assumed that the team would have to eat some extra cash to push Zucker off the books.

For General Manager Barry Trotz, the coinage isn't a deal breaker clearly. They have the cap space to make a move and take on the money considering a blockbuster deal for the team is out the window. So Trotz can take a flier on a player with an expiring contract who has an offensive background and has some playoff experience.

Ultimately it costs the Predators a 6th round pick in the 2024 draft. The kicker is that it wasn't actually the Predators' pick to begin with. That 6th rounder came from the Dallas Stars in a pick swap back in 2023. So the trade really doesn't cost the Predators much. They still have 9 picks in the 2024 draft despite not having a pick after the 4th round.

dark. PREDS TRADE. Preds. Yakov Trenin to Avs for a 3rd Rd Pick & Prospect

Instant Reaction

This is a low risk high-reward kind of deal that fits with the Trotz ethos. He wasn't going to overspend to make a deal.

It's a funny statement because Trotz does know a whole lot about how this league operates and there is a 0% chance that Polie isn't helping him navigate year 1 behind the scenes. He also knows what kind of players would be useful to this team and Zucker fits the mold of a productive veteran who is not going to block a youngster long term.

Maybe with performance, Zucker finds a way to stick, with Nashville, but overall trading not your own 6th-round pick for a proven rental scorer is a winning trade.