The New York Rangers announced that Mika Zibanejad has been named the winner of the 2018-19 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, presented by Northwell Health.
The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, "goes above and beyond the call of duty." The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of devoted Blueshirt fan and New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986 and passed away on January 10, 2017. This year, in honor of Steven's legacy, Rangers fans had an opportunity to nominate those who continuously give the Extra Effort in their community. A select group of these nominees will be honored on Friday, April 5 as part of the Rangers' "Blueshirts of Our Backs Ceremony" following the game.
Video: OTT@NYR: Zibanejad receives Steven McDonald Award
Zibanejad has skated in 79 games with the Rangers this season, registering 30 goals and 42 assists for 72 points, along with 47 penalty minutes. He has established career-highs in numerous categories in 2018-19, including goals, assists, points, total ice time, shots on goal, faceoff wins, and takeaways, and he is also averaging a career-high in time on ice per game. Zibanejad, who was named one of the Rangers' alternate captains prior to the start of the season, leads the Blueshirts in several categories in 2018-19, including goals, assists, points, power play goals, power play assists, power play points, shots on goal, takeaways, and faceoff wins. He is also the only Ranger who has skated in every game this season.
The 25-year-old has accomplished several feats during the 2018-19 season. Zibanejad tallied a point on 10 consecutive goals scored by the Rangers from Jan. 19 to Feb. 4, becoming the first player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. He recorded the game-winning goal in three consecutive games from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, becoming the second Ranger in franchise history to do so (along with Rod Gilbert, who did so during the 1966-67 season). Zibanejad became the first Rangers center to record at least 30 goals in a season since Eric Lindros (37 in 2001-02). He is one of three centers in Rangers history who have recorded at least 30 goals in a season when 25 years old or younger (along with Mark Pavelich and Darren Turcotte), and he is also one of three centers in franchise history who have registered 70 or more points in a season when 25 years old or younger (along with Walt Tkaczuk and Mark Pavelich).