Passing: Zuccarello is a superb playmaker. He sees the ice well and displays phenomenal touch on his setups, executing everything from quick dishes to sumptuous saucer passes. While he isn’t the flashiest passer, he consistently delivers the goods. Playing within defensive systems for most of his career has stifled his assist totals.
Fearless: Despite looking up at most defenders, he doesn’t back down and will gladly attack the scoring areas in search of high-percentage opportunities. He may get outmuscled in the trenches, but he never lets that deter his pursuit of quality chances.
Hockey Sense: He simply knows where to be in all three zones. The veteran offers his defensemen quality passing options on the breakout, he’s effective at linking up with his linemates in the neutral zone and he cleverly drifts in and out of the slot to present different points of attack. Zuccarello makes himself useful in nearly all situations.
Size: His 5’8”, 175-pound frame is difficult to overcome. He does to a degree through craftiness, IQ and sheer determination, but there’s only so much he can accomplish in certain board battle and net-front scenarios. He doesn’t possess the outstanding speed or change of direction required to offset his lack of size.
Durability: It’s been a rough couple of years for Zuccarello in the health department, as he’s missed significant time in recent seasons. Given that he’s approaching his mid-30s and frequently plays in congested areas, that’s cause for concern.