New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired forward Mika Zibanejad and a second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Derick Brassard and a seventh round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Zibanejad, 23, skated in 81 games with Ottawa this past season, registering 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points, along with 18 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2015-16, including games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (seven), and faceoff win percentage (50.5; 659-for-1,306). Zibanejad has tallied a goal on 13 of his 28 career NHL shootout attempts (46.4%), and he has recorded five game-deciding goals in the shootout. Zibanejad’s five game-deciding goals in the shootout are the second-most a Senator has tallied since 2005-06, as he passed Daniel Alfredsson for sole possession of second place during this past season.
Zibanejad led the Senators in game-winning goals, faceoff wins, and faceoffs taken, ranked third in shorthanded goals (two), tied for third in games played, tied for fourth in assists, and ranked fifth in points and power play points (11) in 2015-16. He tied for fifth in the NHL in shootout goals (four; 4-for-9) and game-deciding goals (two) in the shootout this past season. Zibanejad ranked third among Ottawa forwards in shorthanded ice time per game in 2015-16 (1:25). He tallied 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 24 contests against Metropolitan Division opponents this past season. Zibanejad recorded 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in the final 38 games of the season, and he ranked second on Ottawa in goals over the span.
The 6-2, 222-pounder has skated in 281 career NHL games over parts of five seasons (2011-12 – 2015-16), all with Ottawa, registering 64 goals and 87 assists for 151 points, along with 64 penalty minutes. Over Zibanejad’s first five seasons, 52 of his 87 career assists have been primary assists. Zibanejad tallied at least 20 goals and 40 points in each of the last two seasons. He was one of only three Senators who recorded 20 or more goals in both 2014-15 and 2015-16. In addition, Zibanejad’s goals, assists, and points totals have increased in every season during his career. Over the last two seasons, Zibanejad has tallied 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) against Metropolitan Division teams.
Zibanejad helped Ottawa reach the playoffs in two seasons during his tenure with the team (2012-13 and 2014-15). In 16 career NHL playoff games, Zibanejad has registered two goals and six assists for eight points. He tied for the team lead with four points (one goal, three assists) in six contests during the 2015 Playoffs.
Internationally, the Stockholm, Sweden, native has represented his country in several tournaments. Zibanejad registered five points (four goals, one assist) and posted a plus-three rating in six games while helping Sweden earn a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. In addition, he tallied the game-winning goal in overtime of the Gold Medal Game against Russia. Zibanejad also recorded eight points (four goals, four assists) and posted a plus-eight rating in six games while helping Sweden earn a silver medal at the 2011 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Zibanejad was selected by Ottawa in the first round, sixth overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Brassard skated in 254 games with the Rangers over parts of four seasons, registering 69 goals and 105 assists for 174 points.