Centerman Mika Zibanejad signed a five year, $26.75 million contract extension with the New York Rangers this morning. The contract carries a $5.35 million AAV or cap hit per season. The two sides were set for an arbitration hearing to be held for the restricted free agent. Zibanejad spent the first five years of his NHL career with the Ottawa Senators before being traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Derick Brassard last summer.
Mika Zibanejad Re-Signs with New York Rangers
Mika Zibanejad’s great debut year with the New York Rangers proved his acquisition was money well spent for New York. Despite breaking his femur midway through the regular season, Zibanejad performed consistently well for the Blueshirts. He scored two goals against the Washington Capitals in his first game back post-injury. Zibanejad’s youth was warmly welcomed on the Rangers squad, often working on a line with Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. A line fondly known as the KZB line. After the Rangers second round exit, Zibanejad continued to pursue a side-career as a DJ. His first single, ‘Forever,’ released on June 2nd has earned high praise from sporting and music publications alike.
Post-season interviews with the Swedish-Iranian centerman show Zibanejad clearly feels he has much more to add to an evolving Rangers squad. Aged at only 24 and coming up on his 7th NHL season, Zibanejad’s best years are yet to come.
The Swede got drafted in the 6th overall in the 2011 NHL draft by the Ottawa Senators. In Ottawa he saw his best season to date. In 2015-16 season, Zibanejad earned 51 points, a career high. Zibanejad was acquired by the New York Rangers in exchange for “big game” Derick Brassard in a blockbuster trade summer of 2016.
New York City quickly became a home for Zibanejad. He finished his first year with the Blueshirts earning 14 goals, 23 assists and a plus 9 rating.