By Matt Calamia
Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello will be the lone NHLer when he skates for Norway at next month’s Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
While he’s the only player from the NHL on the roster, he’s one of 13 players returning from Norway’s 2010 Olympic team.
It is at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver that Zuccarello made a name for himself among NHL teams, including the Rangers. In 2010, Zuccarello posted a goal and two assists and was a plus-1 in four games for Norway. Three months later, the Rangers inked the Norwegian to a contract.
Zuccarello is in the midst of his most productive season of his young NHL career. The left winger is tied for second on the Rangers with 10 goals, and leads the team in both assists (20) and points (30) in 43 games. All his points, though, have come in his last 36 games.
In addition to his one Olympic appearance, Zuccarello has represented Norway in several international competitions, including the 2006 World Junior Championships and the 2010 World Championships, where he posted three goals and an assist in six games.
Norway will be tested early in their tournament, when the open up with a game against Canada on Feb. 13 at 12 pm Eastern.