Apr 25, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad (93) skates with the puck as Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) defends in the third period at Verizon Center. The Senators won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Over/Under - Mika Zibanejad


Mika Zibanejad, entering his second full season in the NHL (well if you count last year as a “full season”) and he will be one of the key factors in how the Senators fare in the coming season.

With the departure of Daniel Alfredsson and Jakob Silfverberg, Zibanejad will be counted on to provide a veteran-like presence.  The big question is, where will his contribution come from?  When all hands are on deck, will Zibanejad be the third line center or will he be a top 6 forward by shifting to the wing?

I have been on the record for a long time that I think Zibanejad should be a winger at the NHL level, and if he is going to be a top 6 forward that is where he needs to play.  I like the lineup of Jason Spezza, Kyle Turris and Zack Smith as the 1-2-3 centres, with either Jean-Gabriel Pageau or Jim O’Brien as the 4th line pivot.  And the top 3 wingers being Milan Michalek, Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur, leaving a spot open on the wing.  The  best candidates would be Colin Greening, Cory Conacher, Zibanejad or Pageau (or one of the rookie prospects like Shane Prince or Mark Stone).

So, while the prevailing public opinion seems to be that Zibanejad should fill the 3rd line center, I am very curious to see how it ends up.

So there are a few over/under questions regarding Zibanejad:

Mika Zibanejad will play (over/under) 50% of his games at center

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As for production, if you extrapolate his offensive totals from his rookie season over a full campaign, his totals of 7-13-20 would amount to close to 14-26-40.  As a third line centre those wouldn’t be bad totals, but I think he is capable of much more than that.

In terms of goals,

Zibanejad will score (over/under) 20 goals this season.

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How about points?

Zibanejad will score (over/under) 50 points this season.

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Tags: Mika Zibanejad Ottawa Senators Over/under

  • john

    If only there was more space for Zibanejad….. I think he should play the 2 rw

  • Brianmichille Dablo Cabaltera-

    2 questions;

    Is Zibanejad a waste as 3rd line center?
    Are the Senators a (successful) playoff team with Turris and Zibanejad as the top two centers?

    If the answers are yes and no, then by all means he should be moved to wing. If the answers are yes and yes, no and no, or no and yes, then he should remain a center.

    It is only a matter of time before Turris becomes as valuable (or more) to the team then Spezza. I don’t mean Turris will put up the points that Spezza does, but merely that a 65 point Turris may be as valuable as an 80 point Spezza.

    • Jared Crozier

      I completely disagree on Turris. I think he is a good #2C, but in now way will he reach the value of Spezza.

      And as for your 2 questions, I would say 1) yes and 2) no.

      • Brianmichille Dablo Cabaltera-

        Thx for the response.

        I don’t think Turris will reach the (current) value of Spezza either, but that isn’t what I’m implying though. Turris is a full 6 years younger then Spezza. When Turris is 30, Spezza will be 36. With a 6 year age difference, it becomes more of a, when Turris becomes more valuable, than an if he becomes more valuable.

        Is Spezza going to be a player who continues through his latter 30′s? I would hope he does, as a Senator, but the reality is, he had 2 different operations this year, back and knee. How many operations in his career now? How many more in the future? Although no one can predict future injuries, we can recognize when a players body is falling apart. Spezza isn’t there yet, but I’m sure he’s on a lot of peoples watch list for it.