OTTAWA (AP) - The Ottawa Senators sent first-round draft pick Mika Zibanejad back to Swedish club team Djurgardens on Wednesday rather than burn the first year of his entry-level contract.
Zibanejad appeared in nine games for the Senators this season, with one assist and a minus-3 rating. A 10th game with Ottawa would have meant the 18-year-old was sticking in the NHL.
The Stockholm native played his ninth and final game with the Senators on Tuesday night in Carolina.
Ottawa can't recall him until his European season is over, unless it's under emergency circumstances.
Djurgardens has assured the Senators that Zibanejad will play a crucial role with the team, including first-line minutes and power-play time.