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Ten questions ... with Sens prospect Mika Zibanejad

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators prospect Mika Zibanejad earned national hero status in Sweden with his overtime-winning goal at the 2012 world juniors. He was Ottawa's top pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/OSHC)..

He'll always have a special place in Swedish hockey lore.

Indeed, Mika Zibenejad became an instant national hero on a January night in Alberta, when his overtime goal allowed the Tre Kronor to edge Russia 1-0 in an epic gold-medal game at the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship. The victory ended a 31-year title drought for Sweden at the event.

Such exalted status aside, the Senators' top pick (sixth overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft is pretty much your average teenager, as you'll discover in the latest installment of our 'Ten Questions' feature:

Q: What's your favourite way to relax during the summer?
A: There's so many things. Just lay by the pool, I guess. I've been starting to play golf, so I like to play golf or tennis or do something else that doesn't involve hockey.

Q: What is your guilty eating pleasure?
A: I love tacos and Chinese food.

Q: What do you like most about being on Twitter (@MikaZibanejad)?
A: Getting mentions (laughs). You get the news quick if you go through your news feed. That's what I like about it.

Q: What's your favourite draft day memory?
A: Just hearing your name called. That feeling you get when you're just waiting to hear your name called. I was hoping for Ottawa, so that was fun.

Q: What's your favourite type of music?
A: I listen to everything. My girlfriend is trying to take me toward country, but I don't know about that. It comes and goes.

Q: What's your favourite meal?
A: Mashed potatoes and Swedish meatballs with (gravy) and lingonberry sauce.

Q: Where do you keep your gold medal from the world juniors?
A: It's at home. It's in a little box. It's in a good place ... I think my mom has it. We'll see if she brings it over here.

Q: How many times have you watched your overtime goal that won the gold for Sweden at the 2012 WJC?
A: I can't count it with my fingers, that's for sure. It's been many times, especially right after. I didn't really believe it. I still can't really believe that it happened. (My memory) kind of blacked out after I got the puck and the breakaway. But it's been many times.

Q: If you could play another sport professionally other than hockey, which would you choose?
A: Soccer. I played soccer when I was a kid before I decided on hockey.

Q: If you could trade places with any other athlete, who would it be?
A: David Beckham. I really liked him when I was younger. I was kind of bouncing around between goalie and midfielder and I was really into his game. He also played for my favourite team, Man U (Manchester United). He has a pretty sweet life now, too.

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