Mika Zibanejad got a huge wakeup call early on as he was a surprise demotion to the AHL Binghamton Senators at the start of the season after failing to earn a spot on the opening night roster. He took it in stride and led the Binghamton Senators when he was recalled a couple of weeks into the season.
Zibanejad played Mr. Utility this season as he filled in where needed throughout the lineup, bouncing around from line to line and wing to centre where the need arose. All in all, it was a solid developmental season for they young Swede, as he set career highs in goals (16) assists (17) and points (33), albeit in his first full length season.
- Took demotion in stride and came back with a purpose
- Showed ability to play a variety of roles
- Demoted at the end of training camp
- -15 rating
Mika Zibanejad has 1 year left on his entry level deal, after which he will be a restricted free agent.
The problem for the Senators with respect to Mika Zibanejad is finding a spot for him to play consistently. The Senators want to keep him in the middle, but he should play on the top two lines. With Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris currently occupying those roles, he is going to have to either play the wing or on the third line. It is a conundrum facing the Senators, although a Spezza trade would open a spot.
GRADE – B : Zibanejad might have taken his spot for granted at the start of the year, and he responded well to the demotion as well as the lack of a consistent role on the roster.