Prospect Profile: Mika Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad (C/RW, 6’2, DOB 1993, 1-6/11)
2009-10 J18 Djurgarden 14-8-12-20 +15 10pim (ppg 1.42) 4th pts
2009-10 SupEl Djurgarden 14-2-2-4 -2 4pim (ppg 0.28) 21st
2010-11 SupEl Djurgarden 27-12-9-21 +18 12pim (ppg 0.77) 7th
2010-11 SEL Djurgarden 26-5-4-9 +1 2pim (ppg 0.34) 17th
2011-12 NHL Ottawa 9-0-1-1 -3 2pim
2011-12 SEL Djurgarden 26-5-8-13 -2 4pim (ppg 0.50) 14th
2011-12 WJC Sweden 6-4-1-5 +2 2pim 7th

Zibanejad, the sixth overall selection in last year’s draft (ranked #2 by Central Scouting; he’s the highest draft pick for Ottawa since picking Jason Spezza second overall in 2001), made the Senators to start the year, but lost his confidence and was loaned back to his club team Djurgarden (with fellow draftee Fredrik Claesson; he also played with Marcus Sorensen back in the day).  He didn’t get the ice time the Sens thought he should as his team went through two coaching changes during the season and also struggled with injuries.  The highlight for Zibanejad was the World Junior Championships, where he scored the gold medal winning goal for Sweden.  He will play with Ottawa or Binghamton next year (Djurgarden’s relegation has nothing to do with that decision).  Prior to the draft Red Line Report compared him to Brendan Morrow, “plays on the wing internationally, but is more natural and effective at center – his position in league play [SEL].  Drives the net hard using his size effectively to power through checks and win battles along the boards.  Plays a physical game, banging opposing players in puck pursuit, winning loose pucks and causing turnovers off an aggressive and determined forecheck.  Creates space for linemates and is tough to separate from the puck.  Has outstanding speed for a big man with a long, smooth, powerful stride that eats up ground.  Has good hands, receiving even tough passes well without breaking stride.  Also has a very heavy shot that he likes to use when busting down the wing with speed.  Good scoring touch around net, but not always instinctive in his offensive reads.  Tough to contain because he’s got so many facets he can beat you with.  Fine defensive effort level.” ISS compared him to Jerome Iginla, “A very intense player, Zibanejad has extremely explosive technical skills combined with great power and a determined work ethic. He applies tremendous physical pressure on the puck carrier in all zones and can really hammer opponents with his hitting ability. He displayed excellent awareness and intelligence away from the puck and is always calculating his next move. Zibanejad drives the net well and never has very much trouble penetrating the middle lanes off the rush with the puck. His hands and offensive timing could still stand to improve as he doesn’t always handle passes well and struggles to deal with bouncing pucks. NHL Potential: Two-way energy player who can fit a variety of roles including special teams and offensive situations.”  Goran Stubb said this about him, “Mika‘s a real power forward but also has soft hands, good vision and fine skating skills. He has tremendous balance and is hard to knock off the puck. He’s very strong in the battles along the boards, finishes checks with authority and has a heavy shot that he gets off quickly.”  You can watch Pierre Dorion and TSN discuss Zibanejad via the links.

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2 Comments

  1. […] Prospect Profile: Mika Zibanejad […]

  2. […] a free agent) Marcus Sorensen (rights to be released) Mark Stone (signed) Bryce Aneloski 2011 Mika Zibanejad (signed) Stefan Noesen (signed) Matt Puempel (signed) Shane Prince Jean-Gabriel Pageau Fredrik […]


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