Daniel Zaar

by Kevin Wickersham on July 28, 2017

 

Daniel Zaar, RW

Shoots: Right

Height: 5-11

Weight: 174

Born: 1994-04-24

Hometown: Helsingborg, SWE

Drafted: 2012 Columbus Blue Jackets, 152nd overall

 

Observations:

July 2017 – Zaar has signed a two-year deal with the Malmö Redhawks of the Swedish Hockey League. Over the past two campaigns with the AHL Cleveland/Lake Erie Monsters, now 23-year-old Zaar registered 29 goals and 44 assists in 124 contests with 46 penalty minutes and a minus-19. Originally from Helsingborg, Sweden, Zaar previously played two years in the SHL, one each with Rögle BK and Luleå HF, totaling 11 goals and 19 assists in 80 contests. Kevin Wickersham

June 2017 – It was somewhat of an up and down second year for Zaar. While his numbers at the AHL level of 8 goals and 22 assists were a small step backward, the experience that Zaar gained no doubt helped raise his profile. I'm looking for Zaar to challenge in the 2017-18 season for NHL minutes.  Mark Hinrich

September 2016 – Zaar may not rank among some of the elite prospects in the Blue Jackets' organization when it comes to long-term projections but he certainly holds plenty of value in the short-term, especially for fantasy owners. After making the move from Sweden last season, Zaar managed 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points over 71 games with the Lake Erie Monsters. Even more impressive was Zaar’s contribution during the Monsters' run to a Calder Cup championship, notching seven goals and five assists during a 17-game playoff run. Talk of Zaar’s size is largely overstated. The 22-year-old right winger stands 5-11 and weighs 185 pounds, and is by no means Nathan Gerbe or Johnny Gaudreau. Most importantly, Zaar appears to have the most fantasy value of any Blue Jacket in the pipeline outside of Zach Werenski. I believe Zaar has the edge on Sonny Milano and Paul Bittner for big-time duty with the Blue Jackets this season. In deep leagues, Zaar is worth a shot as a late-round flyer and is certainly someone to keep your eye on as a mid-season waiver wire pickup if the chips fall in his favor. Erik Schiefer

July 2016 – Zaar is very much the player you would expect from a 5-11 and 174-pound Swedish winger. Drafted in the sixth round during the 2012 NHL entry draft, Zaar, much like all late-round picks, did not come with high expectations. Zaar spent the next three seasons with Rogle BK, BIK Karlskoga and the Lulea program, bouncing around between the U20, Allsvenskan and SHL leagues. For those not familiar with the structure and talent level of the Swedish Hockey League, the North American equivalents of these leagues would be the CHL, AHL and NHL-level. Zaar also played eight games internationally with the U18 and U19 teams, but most importantly, was also a two-time member of Team Sweden during the IIHF U20 World Junior Championship in 2013 and 2014, tallying three goals and four assists in 13 games. For the 2015-2016 season, Zaar made the jump across the pond and became an integral part of the Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters. Zaar quickly played his way to a top-six role, a spot he held for the majority of the season. Making the jump to the AHL is rarely easy for rookies but Zaar certainly made the most of his opportunity with 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points in 71 games. Even more encouraging than his regular-season play was Zaar's contribution to the Monsters' post-season. The shifty Swede contributed seven goals, five assists and 12 points over 17 games for Lake Erie on its road to winning the Calder Cup as AHL champion. Columbus is a young team in the early stages of a multi-year rebuild. After trading away Ryan Johansen and Kerby Rychel last season, the Blue Jackets are in desperate need of top-six talent at the NHL level. With just over $4 million of salary cap room, a top-six forward on an entry-level contract could be an enticing option this season. Do not be surprised if Zaar makes the opening-night NHL roster. Erik Schiefer

February 2015 - Zaar might be one of the underrated prospects in the Blue Jackets' pool. He's in his first season with Lulea of the SHL. This league is comprised of men, not boys, and he's putting up decent numbers - 20 points in 44 games. As a 20-year old, this is no easy feat. For forwards under the age of 24, that's good for top-15 in the league. Chris Bagwell

April 2014 – Zaar continued his progress this season with Rogle  BK of the Allsvenskan league in Sweden (the country’s second-highest league behind the SHL). Moving up from the junior team this season, Zaar impressed, putting up 36 points in 52 games. He’s the youngest player on the team by two years, which means he has time to even further develop his game. Zaar also had a successful WJC tournament this year helping his team advance to the finals with a goal and three assists in eight games. Zaar has been praised for his speed and overall game. While he does put up points, he also plays responsibly in his own end. Chris Bagwell

 

Fantasy Outlook: C-

After his recent SHL deal and two solid but unspectacular AHL campaigns, Zaar's future NHL outlook is murky.

Footage:

 

 

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