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Trade-Deadline Acquisitions Beauvillier, Zucker Delivering For Predators



Photo of Jason Zucker courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Instead of making a big splash at the NHL trade deadline in March, the Nashville Predators opted for a series of smaller moves.

General manager Barry Trotz upgraded the team’s forward depth by adding Anthony Beauvillier from Chicago and Jason Zucker from Arizona in exchange for late-round draft picks.

Those deals appear to be paying dividends for the Predators in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Both players have one goal and one assist through Nashville’s first two postseason games. They skated with center Colton Sissons on the second line in Tuesday’s 4-1 win at Vancouver, each assisting on Sissons’ goal in the second period after Beauvillier opened the scoring in the first by deflecting Filip Forsberg’s shot from the blue line into the net.

“I’m really happy for Beau,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said. “It’s been a hard year for him. I thought [he made] a couple really big plays for us.

“Zuck’s been really good. He’s been a warrior. You saw his blocked shot the other night. He’s been willing to pay the price. The secondary offense on that line kind of carried us through that game.”

Beauvillier and Zucker understand the challenge of being dealt mid-season.

The 26-year-old Beauvillier was traded from the New York Islanders to Vancouver in January 2023 and again from Vancouver to Chicago last December. Zucker was moved by Minnesota to Pittsburgh in February 2020.

“You’ve got to adjust as quick as you can, especially in a new system with a new group of guys and a new place to live,” Beauvillier said. “You have to get comfortable around a new facility and stuff like that. There are some challenges, but the transition was super easy here. The [locker] room is great; the guys are awesome. It definitely made it easy for me.”

The Predators also knew what they were getting in both players.

Beauvillier netted 15 goals and added 14 assists across 49 postseason games for Trotz in New York. Zucker, who had 46 career playoff appearances to his name, overlapped with Brunette’s time as an assistant coach and assistant GM in Minnesota.

“Both of us have played in the playoffs a lot,” Zucker said. “He’s gone further than I have in multiple years. Hopefully we can help some of the young guys. A lot of our young guys haven’t played many playoff games, so it’s good just to be able to chat with them and … give them advice on what to expect, how to handle certain situations and things of that sort that can go a long way throughout a series.”

Zucker scored five goals with two assists in 18 regular-season games for the Predators, upping his season point total to 32. Beauvillier, on his third team in four months, had just one goal and two assists in 15 games with Nashville.

But if Game 2 was any indication, the line of Zucker, Sissons and Beauvillier may have staying power.

“We’re playing together and building chemistry more and more every game we play,” Beauvillier said. “It’s been fun playing with him and Colton as well.”

Beauvillier and Zucker are set to face uncertain futures this summer as unrestricted free agents. For now, they’re glad to be contributing to a playoff run in Nashville – an opportunity that wasn’t available with their previous clubs.

“You play this game to go try to win a Stanley Cup and play in the playoffs every year,” Zucker said. “I was lucky enough to have them want me on this team. I’m just trying to help out any way I can.”

Follow Russell Vannozzi on X/Twitter @RussellV_MSP.

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