Mika Zibanejad
Born (1993-04-18)18 April 1993,
Stockholm, Sweden
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
NHL team
F. teams
New York Rangers
Djurgårdens IF
Ottawa Senators
Ntl. team Flag of Sweden.png Sweden
NHL Draft 6th overall, 2011
Ottawa Senators
Playing career 2010–present

Mika Zibanejad (Persian: میکا زیبانژاد‎‎;born 18 April 1993) is a Swedish-Iranian professional ice hockey centreman currently playing for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Zibanejad was selected sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators and signed a professional contract with Ottawa in July 2011.[1] He made the Senators lineup out of training camp to start the 2011–12 season, but was returned to Djurgårdens IF in Sweden after scoring one point in nine NHL games with Ottawa. On 18 July 2016, after 5 seasons within Senators organization, Zibanejad was traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Derick Brassard.

Internationally, Zibanejad has represented Sweden at both the under-18 and junior levels. On 5 January 2012, Zibanejad scored the gold medal-winning golden goal for Sweden in the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships against Russia in the tournament final; the game finished 1–0.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Zibanejad being selected sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Zibanejad played soccer as a child before deciding to pursue hockey.[2] He began playing hockey at the age of six in Hammarby IF, where he played a total of seven seasons before the club went bankrupt in 2008.[3]

Zibanejad then moved to AIK IF's youth organization for the following season, where he began playing junior hockey. He was acquired by Djurgårdens IF for the 2009–10 season to play in Djurgården's J18-team and J20-team. Zibanejad made his Elitserien debut on 7 December 2010, against Luleå HF,[4] and scored his first Elitserien goal on 15 January 2011, against Tuomas Tarkki of Modo Hockey.[5] He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 KHL Junior Draft by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, 129th overall.[6] On 7 February 2011, Zibanejad signed a two-year contract extension with Djurgården.[7] Zibanejad became a regular player in the senior roster after his debut, playing in 26 of the remaining 29 games.[8] He scored five goals and nine points,[8] which put him third in points for players 18 or younger playing with the senior team, behind Fredrik Bremberg and Jacob Josefson.[7] On 5 January 2012, Zibanejad scored the game-winning goal for Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in overtime of the gold medal game against Russia.

Ottawa Senators[edit | edit source]

On 13 July 2011, Zibanejad signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators, the team that drafted him sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.[9] After an impressive training camp, Zibanejad joined the Senators for their first game of the 2011–12 season. He registered his first career NHL point in his first game, an assist on a goal by Filip Kuba in a 5–3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.[10] After just one point in nine games played, Zibanejad was reassigned to his most recent club, Djurgårdens IF, on 26 October.[11]

In June 2012, Zibanejad was rumoured to be a key part of a package Ottawa was offering to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for disgruntled superstar Rick Nash. The offer was allegedly taken off the table when Columbus General Manager Scott Howson informed the Senators that Nash was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause to accept a trade to Ottawa.[12]

In August 2012, the Senators announced that Zibanejad would spend the 2012–13 season in North America, either in the NHL with the Senators or with the club's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.[13] Due to the NHL lockout, Zibanejad started the season with Binghamton, where he registered 11 points in 23 games while battling injuries. He was called up to Ottawa on 28 January 2013, and played in his first NHL game of the season on 29 January against the Washington Capitals, a game in which he was selected as the First Star.[14] The following night, on 30 January in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, Zibanejad scored his first career NHL goal. The goal came on the power play against goaltender Peter Budaj and with assists from Colin Greening and André Benoit.[15] In the 2015–16 season, Zibanejad scored a career high 21 goals with 30 assists.

New York Rangers[edit | edit source]

On 18 July 2016, Zibanejad was traded by the Senators to the New York Rangers along with a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft for Derick Brassard and a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.[16] On 20 November 2016, during a game against the Florida Panthers, Zibanejad suffered a gruesome injury in overtime when he went hard with his left leg into the boards while trying to get in front of Reilly Smith. After the game, which the Rangers eventually lost 3-2 in a shootout, it was announced that he broke his left fibula and would miss 6–8 weeks. He returned to the Rangers lineup against Dallas on 17 January 2017. He scored two goals in the 7–6 Rangers loss.

Medal record

Zibanejad skating with the Swedish team at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Representing Flag of Sweden Sweden
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 2012 Calgary
IIHF World U18 Championships
Silver 2011 Germany
World U-17 Hockey Challenge
Bronze 2010 Ontario

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Zibanejad was raised in Huddinge, Sweden.[17] Zibanejad's father is from Iran. His mother is from Finland.[18] His half-brother, Monir Kalgoum, is also an ice hockey player, who previously played for Milton Keynes Lightning but is currently with the Swedish Division 2 team Botkyrka HC.[18][19]

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2009–10 Djurgårdens IF J20 14 2 2 4 4
2010–11 Djurgårdens IF J20 27 12 9 21 12 3 1 2 3 0
2010–11 Djurgårdens IF SEL 26 5 4 9 2 7 1 1 2 2
2011–12 Djurgårdens IF SEL 26 5 8 13 4
2011–12 Ottawa Senators NHL 9 0 1 1 2
2012–13 Binghamton Senators AHL 23 4 7 11 10
2012–13 Ottawa Senators NHL 42 7 13 20 6 10 1 3 4 0
2013–14 Binghamton Senators AHL 6 2 5 7 2
2013–14 Ottawa Senators NHL 69 16 17 33 18
2014–15 Ottawa Senators NHL 80 20 26 46 20 6 1 3 4 0
2015–16 Ottawa Senators NHL 81 21 30 51 18
NHL totals 281 64 87 151 64 16 2 6 8 0

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mika Zibanejad Stats and News.
  2. Ten questions ... with Sens prospect Mika Zibanejad http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=641368
  3. Bodin, Uffe (26 January 2011). Här är vårt nästa drafthopp (Swedish). hockeysverige.se. Retrieved on 22 February 2011.
  4. Gustavsson, Sven. "Djurgårdens juniorer bjöd på show", 7 December 2010. Retrieved on 11 December 2010. (Swedish) 
  5. Lundin, Anders. "Djurgården skrämde övertidsspöket", 15 January 2011. Retrieved on 15 January 2011. (Swedish) 
  6. Robert, Pettersson. Svenskarna som gick i KHL-draften (Swedish). hockeysverige.se. Retrieved on 10 December 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mika Zibanejad klar för två år till i DIF (Swedish). difhockey.se. Djurgårdens IF Hockey. Retrieved on 7 February 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mika Zibanejad (Swedish). difhockey.se. Djurgårdens IF Hockey. Retrieved on 8 March 2011.
  9. Senators sign top draft pick. Toronto Sun (13 July 2011). Retrieved on 1 January 2011.
  10. Hedger, Brian (5 October 2011). Wings hold off Senators 5-3 in opener. nhl.com. National Hockey League.
  11. Senators send rookie Zibanejad back to Sweden. The Sports Network (26 October 2011). Retrieved on 26 October 2011.
  12. "Senators are making a pitch for Rick Nash". CBS Sports (2012-06-21). Retrieved on 2012-06-21.
  13. "Senators: Zibanejad staying in North America". National Hockey League (2012-08-04). Retrieved on 2012-08-04.
  14. "Gonchar scores late winner as Senators overcome Capitals". The Sports Network (2013-01-29). Retrieved on 2013-01-29.
  15. "Zibanejad scores first NHL goal as Senators beat Canadiens". The Sports Network (2013-01-30). Retrieved on 2013-01-30.
  16. "Rangers acquire forward Mika Zibanejad". New York Rangers (2016-07-18). Retrieved on 2016-07-18.
  17. Mika Zibanejad. nhl.com. NHL. Retrieved on 24 June 2011.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Holm, Stefan. "(K)ungen av Globen", Aftonbladet, 26 February 2011. Retrieved on 5 March 2011. (Swedish) 
  19. Monir Kalgoum. eliteprospects.com. Retrieved on 8 March 2011.

External links[edit | edit source]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jared Cowen
Ottawa Senators first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Stefan Noesen
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