The star of the New York Rangers has made it official that his heart is in New York as Mika Zibanejad has signed a contract extension through the 2029-2030 season worth $68 million. The obvious next choice for captain of the Rangers will help lead the Rangers out of the rebuilding phase and back into a Stanley Cup contender. Rangers fans will be extremely pleased with the news of their Swedish star will be wearing the Blueshirt for at least the next eight seasons.
Mika Zibanejad Career Overview
Surprisingly enough the heart and soul of the New York Rangers didn’t actually start his NHL career in the Big Apple. Instead, he began his NHL career in Canada’s capital playing for the Ottawa Senators. Mika Zibanejad was drafted sixth overall in the 2011 NHL draft by the Senators and made his debut during the 2011-2012 season as an 18-year-old. During his time with the Senators, he totaled 64 goals, 87 assists, and 151 points in 281 games over the course of five seasons.
Following the 2015-2016 season the Senators traded a 28-year-old Mika Zibanejad to the Rangers alongside a second-round pick for Derek Brassard and a seventh-round pick. Zibanejad’s career has taken off since joining the Blueshirts. Over the course of Zibanejad’s five-year career in New York, he has played 323 games and put up 136 goals, 147 assists, and 283 points including a 41 goal season in the covid shortened 2019-2020 season.
How Does Signing Mika Zibanejad Help the Rangers?
The leader of the New York Rangers has been and will be the center of the team for the 2021-2022 season. He will play alongside power forward Chris Kreider and former first overall pick Alexis Lafreniere. Last season Lafreniere struggled to adjust to NHL play as he scored 12 goals and nine assists. Playing alongside the highly skilled Zibanejad will surely help Lafreniere improve his statistics. Zibanejad’s leadership skills are also a vital asset to a successful Rangers season. In his absence due to injury the Rangers struggled which led to them missing the playoffs during the 2020-2021 season. With Zibanejad back in the fold, the Rangers will surely improve and be back in the playoffs this season and in the future.
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