Mika Zibanejad
Mika Zibanejad.png
Born 18 April 1993 (1993-04-18) (age 27)
Stockholm, Sweden
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
New York Rangers
Djurgårdens IF
Ottawa Senators
National team Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
NHL Draft 6th overall, 2011
Ottawa Senators
Playing career 2010–present

Mika Zibanejad (born April 18, 1993) is a Swedish-Iranian professional ice hockey centreman currently playing for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing CareerEdit

Djurgårdens IFEdit

Mika played soccer as a child before deciding to pursue hockey. 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

He then moved to AIK IF's youth organization for the following season where he began playing junior hockey and was later acquired by Djurgårdens IF for the 2009–10 season to play in Djurgården's J18-team and J20-team.

On December 7, 2010, Mika made his Elitserien debut against Luleå HF and scored his first Elitserien goal on January 15, 2011, against Tuomas Tarkki of Modo Hockey.

He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 KHL Junior Draft by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, 129th overall.

On February 7, 2011, Zibanejad signed a two-year contract extension with Djurgården.

Mika 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 which put him third in points for players 18 or younger playing with the senior team, behind Fredrik Bremberg and Jacob Josefson.

On January 5, 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 SenatorsEdit

On July 13, 2011, Mika signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators, the team that drafted him sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

After an impressive training camp, he 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. After just one point in nine games played, he was reassigned to his most recent club, Djurgårdens IF on October 26, 2011.

In June 2012, Mika 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 Mika 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.

Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, he started the season with Binghamton, where he registered 11 points in 23 games while battling injuries.

On January 28, 2013, Mika was called up to Ottawa and played in his first NHL game of the season the next day against the Washington Capitals, a game in which he was selected as the First Star.

The following night on January 30, 2013, in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, he scored his first career NHL goal. The goal came on the power play against goaltender Peter Budaj and with assists from Colin Greening and Andre Benoit.

In the 2015–16 season, Mika scored a career high 21 goals with 30 assists.

New York RangersEdit

On July 18, 2016, Mika 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.

On November 20, 2016, during a game against the Florida Panthers, he 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 Mika broke his left fibula and would miss 6–8 weeks of hockey.

On January 17, 2017, he returned to the Rangers lineup against Dallas where he scored two goals in the 7–6 Rangers loss.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2009–10 Djurgårdens IF J20 142244
2010–11 Djurgårdens IF J20 271292112 31230
2010–11 Djurgårdens IF SEL 265492 71122
2011–12 Djurgårdens IF SEL 2658134
2011–12 Ottawa Senators NHL 90112
2012–13 Binghamton Senators AHL 23471110
2012–13 Ottawa Senators NHL 42713206 101340
2013–14 Binghamton Senators AHL 62572
2013–14 Ottawa Senators NHL 6916173318
2014–15 Ottawa Senators NHL 80 20 26 46 20 6 1 3 4 0
2015–16 Ottawa Senators NHL 8121305118
NHL totals 281 64 87 151 64 16 2 6 8 0

Personal LifeEdit

Mika was raised in Huddinge, Sweden. His father is from Iran and his mother is from Finland.

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.

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