Mika Zibanejad

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Mika Zibanejad
Mika Zibanejad - Ottawa Senators.jpg
Zibanejad with the Ottawa Senators in 2013
Born (1993-04-18) 18 April 1993 (age 27)
Huddinge, Sweden
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
New York Rangers
Djurgårdens IF
Ottawa Senators
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 6th overall, 2011
Ottawa Senators
Playing career 2010–present

Mika Zibanejad (Persian: میکا زیبانژاد‎; born 18 April 1993) is a Swedish professional ice hockey centre and alternate captain of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Zibanejad was selected sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators.[1]

He made the Senators lineup out of training camp to start the 2011–12 season, but was returned to Djurgårdens IF in Sweden after scoring one point in nine NHL games with Ottawa. On 18 July 2016, after five seasons within the Senators organization, Zibanejad was traded to the Rangers.

Internationally, Zibanejad has represented Sweden at both the under-18 and junior levels. On 5 January 2012, Zibanejad scored the gold medal-winning golden goal for Sweden in the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships against Russia in the tournament final; the game finished 1–0. On 20 May 2018, Zibanejad scored a goal in the final for Sweden to help them win the 2018 IIHF World Championship.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Zibanejad with Djurgårdens IF in 2012.

Zibanejad played football as a child before deciding to pursue hockey.[3] 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.[4]

Zibanejad then moved to AIK IF's youth organization for the following season, where he began playing junior hockey. He was acquired by Djurgårdens IF for the 2009–10 season to play in the organization's J18-team and J20-team. Zibanejad made his Elitserien debut on 7 December 2010, against Luleå HF,[5] and scored his first Elitserien goal on 15 January 2011, against Tuomas Tarkki of Modo Hockey.[6] He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 KHL Junior Draft by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, 129th overall.[7]

On 7 February 2011, Zibanejad signed a two-year contract extension with Djurgården.[8] Zibanejad became a regular player in the senior roster after his debut, playing in 26 of the remaining 29 games.[9] He scored five goals and nine points,[9] which made him the third most successful junior player 18 years or younger in the organization and playing with the senior team, behind Fredrik Bremberg and Jacob Josefson.[8] On 5 January 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 Senators[edit]

Zibanejad being selected sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

On 13 July 2011, Zibanejad signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators, the team that drafted him sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.[10] After an impressive training camp, Zibanejad 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.[11] After just one point in nine games played, Zibanejad was reassigned to his most recent club, Djurgårdens IF, on 26 October.[12]

In June 2012, Zibanejad 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 withdrawn when Columbus general manager Scott Howson informed the Senators Nash was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause to accept a move to Ottawa.[13]

In August 2012, the Senators announced Zibanejad 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.[14] Due to the NHL lockout, Zibanejad began the season with Binghamton, where he registered 11 points in 23 games while battling injuries. He was called up to Ottawa on 28 January 2013, and played in his first NHL game of the season on 29 January against the Washington Capitals, a game in which he was selected as the first star.[15] The following night, on 30 January in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, Zibanejad scored his first career NHL goal. The goal came on the power play against goaltender Peter Budaj and with assists from Colin Greening and André Benoit.[16] In the 2015–16 season, Zibanejad scored a career high 21 goals with 30 assists.

New York Rangers[edit]

On 18 July 2016, Zibanejad was traded by the Senators to the New York Rangers (along with a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft) in exchange for Derick Brassard and a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.[17] On 20 November 2016, during a game against the Florida Panthers, Zibanejad 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 he broke his left fibula and would miss six-to-eight weeks. He returned to the Rangers lineup against the Dallas Stars on 17 January 2017; he scored two goals in the 7–6 Rangers loss. On 20 April 2017, Zibanejad scored the overtime winning goal in Game 5 of the 2017 NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal. On 26 July 2017, Zibanejad signed a five-year, $26.75 million contract extension with the Rangers.

Zibanejad scored a goal and three assists in the Rangers' 2019–20 season opener on 3 October 2019,[18] and followed that game with his third career hat-trick against the Ottawa Senators on 5 October. He also posted an assist in the game,[19][20] becoming the sixth player in NHL history with four-point games in each of the first two games of the season, and the first player to do so since John Cullen of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990. He was the second player in the Rangers' history to post eight points through the first two games of the season,[20] the fourth in franchise history to score six or more points in that span,[21] and the first in both cases since Rod Gilbert in 1976.[20][21] Zibanejad's game on 5 October made him the first Rangers player with an even strength goal, a power play goal, and a short-handed goal in an away game since Petr Nedved in 2000, and the first Ranger to do so in any game since Derek Stepan in 2014.[19] On October 8, was named NHL's First Star of the Week.[22] On 5 March 2020, Zibanejad became the third player in Rangers' history to score 5 goals in a game in a 6-5 win over the Capitals,[23] joining Don Murdoch, who set the mark on October 12, 1976 against the Minnesota North Stars,[24] and Mark Pavelich on February 23, 1983 versus the Hartford Whalers.[25] Among Zibanejad's tallies was the overtime winner, making him only the second player in NHL history to complete the quintet of goals in the extra period, rivaling the Detroit Red Wings' Sergei Fedorov, who set the standard on December 26, 1996, also against Washington.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Zibanejad was raised in Huddinge, Sweden.[27] Zibanejad's father, Mehrdad, is from Iran. His mother, Ritva, is from Paltamo, Finland.[28] Mehrdad, a Christian, left Iran in 1983 due to religious persecution following two years of mandatory military service in the Iran–Iraq War.[29] Mika's maternal half-brother, Monir Kalgoum, is also an ice hockey player who played professionally for teams in several lower-tier European leagues, most notably Huddinge IK and AIK IF in Sweden's HockeyAllsvenskan and Milton Keynes Lightning in the United Kingdom.[28][30][31] Zibanejad is fluent in English, Persian, Finnish and Swedish.[32] Zibanejad is also a DJ and music producer. He has released 5 songs. Forever was released in 2017. Zibanejad then released Can't Go Back Home the following year, in 2018. Moves, featuring Hot Shade & Mike Perry, was dropped in 2019, followed by Nobody, featuring Hot Shade, the same year. In 2020, Zibanejad released By My Side, which features Hot Shade and Melina Borglowe.

Career statistics[edit]

Mika Zibanejad.png
Zibanejad skating with the Swedish team at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Medal record
Representing  Sweden
Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2018 Denmark
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 2012 Calgary
IIHF World U18 Championships
Silver medal – second place 2011 Germany
World U-17 Hockey Challenge
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Ontario

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2009–10 Djurgårdens IF J20 14 2 2 4 4
2010–11 Djurgårdens IF J20 27 12 9 21 12 3 1 2 3 0
2010–11 Djurgårdens IF SEL 26 5 4 9 2 7 1 1 2 2
2011–12 Djurgårdens IF SEL 26 5 8 13 4
2011–12 Ottawa Senators NHL 9 0 1 1 2
2012–13 Binghamton Senators AHL 23 4 7 11 10
2012–13 Ottawa Senators NHL 42 7 13 20 6 10 1 3 4 0
2013–14 Binghamton Senators AHL 6 2 5 7 2
2013–14 Ottawa Senators NHL 69 16 17 33 18
2014–15 Ottawa Senators NHL 80 20 26 46 20 6 1 3 4 0
2015–16 Ottawa Senators NHL 81 21 30 51 18
2016–17 New York Rangers NHL 56 14 23 37 16 12 2 7 9 0
2017–18 New York Rangers NHL 72 27 20 47 14
2018–19 New York Rangers NHL 82 30 44 74 47
NHL totals 491 135 174 309 141 28 4 13 17 0

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2010 Sweden U17 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 6 5 4 9 4
2011 Sweden WJC18 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 6 4 4 8 2
2012 Sweden WJC 1st place, gold medalist(s) 6 4 1 5 2
2018 Sweden WC 1st place, gold medalist(s) 10 6 5 11 0
Junior totals 18 13 9 22 8
Senior totals 10 6 5 11 0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mika Zibanejad Stats and News". NHL.com. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  2. ^ https://www.new-iihf.com/en/events/2018/wm/gamecenter/playbyplay/1677/64-swe-vs-sui
  3. ^ "Ten questions ... with Sens prospect Mika Zibanejad". www.nhl.com. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  4. ^ Bodin, Uffe (26 January 2011). "Här är vårt nästa drafthopp". hockeysverige.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  5. ^ Gustavsson, Sven (7 December 2010). "Djurgårdens juniorer bjöd på show". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  6. ^ Lundin, Anders (15 January 2011). "Djurgården skrämde övertidsspöket". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). TT. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  7. ^ Robert, Pettersson. "Svenskarna som gick i KHL-draften". hockeysverige.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Mika Zibanejad klar för två år till i DIF". difhockey.se (in Swedish). Djurgårdens IF Hockey. Archived from the original on 9 February 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Mika Zibanejad". difhockey.se (in Swedish). Djurgårdens IF Hockey. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Senators sign top draft pick". Toronto Sun. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  11. ^ Hedger, Brian (5 October 2011). "Wings hold off Senators 5–3 in opener". nhl.com. National Hockey League.
  12. ^ "Senators send rookie Zibanejad back to Sweden". The Sports Network. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Senators are making a pitch for Rick Nash". CBS Sports. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Senators: Zibanejad staying in North America". National Hockey League. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Gonchar scores late winner as Senators overcome Capitals". The Sports Network. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Zibanejad scores first NHL goal as Senators beat Canadiens". The Sports Network. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Rangers acquire forward Mika Zibanejad". New York Rangers. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  18. ^ Cherwoo, Vin A. (3 October 2019). "Jets drop wild affair to Rangers as leaky defence begins to show". CBC.ca. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  19. ^ a b Spiegel, Jackie (5 October 2019). "New York Rangers' Mika Zibanejad nets unique hat trick against Ottawa Senators". Sporting News. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  20. ^ a b c Fraser, Callum (5 October 2019). "Zibanejad hat trick powers Rangers past Senators". National Hockey League. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  21. ^ a b @NYRStatsInfo (5 October 2019). "According to NHL Stats and Information, Mika Zibanejad is the fourth Ranger in franchise history to tally six or more points in the team's first two games of a season (Andy Bathgate - six in 1961-62; Walt Tkaczuk - seven in 1973-74; Rod Gilbert - eight in 1976-77). #NYR" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ Wojton, Nick (7 October 2019). "Rangers' Mika Zibanejad earns NHL's First Star of opening week". SportsNet New York. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  23. ^ The Canadian Press. "Zibanejad becomes third Ranger to score five goals in win over Caps". tsn.ca. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  24. ^ Parton Keese Special to The New York Times (12 October 1976). "5 Murdoch Goals". Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  25. ^ Mifflin, Lawrie (2 February 1983). "RANGERS IN ROMP; PAVELICH SCORES 5". Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  26. ^ The Canadian Press. "Zibanejad becomes third Ranger to score five goals in win over Caps". tsn.ca. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Mika Zibanejad". nhl.com. NHL. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  28. ^ a b Holm, Stefan (26 February 2011). "(K)ungen av Globen". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  29. ^ Campbell, Ken. "Father's life provides Mika Zibanejad with perspective | The Hockey News". The Hockey News. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Monir Kalgoum". eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  31. ^ "Rangers' Mika Zibanejad releases first song, and it's surprisingly good". foxsports.com. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  32. ^ "An Iranian playing hockey in the NHL? Hey, no way! |". iran-times.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jared Cowen
Ottawa Senators first-round draft pick
2011
Succeeded by
Stefan Noesen