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Oct 11, 2011; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32) makes a save on a shot by Ottawa Senators centre Mika Zibanejad (93) in the second period at Scotiabank Place. The Senators defeated the Wild 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Ottawa Senators Prospect Month: Mika Zibanejad

December is prospect Month at SenShot, where we will be looking at a different player in the Senator’s system each day, whether it be in the AHL, CHL, NCAA or Europe. Today we check in on 2011 first round pick Mika Zibanejad .

 

 

 

Name: Mika Zibanejad

Current Team: Binghamton Senators, AHL

Position: F

Acquired: Senators 1st round pick, 6th overall in 2011 NHL Entry Draft

HIS SEASON SO FAR: In his first full season in North America, Zibanejad has not only had to learn a new style of play, but also a new position.  With the depth down the middle in Ottawa, the Senators are counting on Zibanejad to make a transition to the wing in order to play in the top 6 this year.  He has struggled offensively at the start of the year, with only one goal and six assists in his first 16 games.  He has been out of the lineup since he had dental work done in the last week of November, missing 4 games.

Zibanejad was at the centre of an international controversy when the Senators refused to allow Zibanejad to play for the Swedish junior team at the upcoming World Juniors.  This infuriated the Swedish delegation and their head coach.  Zibanejad would have been a big piece of Team Sweden, as he scored the winner in overtime to give his country the Gold Medal last year.

 

PROSPECT STATUS : Top 6 forward with size, speed and finish to go along with playmaking ability

WHEN TO EXPECT HIM: As soon as the lockout ends.  Despite his relatively slow start, Zibanejad is probably pencilled in to at least make the team right away, although the Senators might have to wait as opposed to thrusting him into an offensive role right away.

Tags: Mika Zibanejad Prospects

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