Mika Zibanejed, who was acquired in a deal by sending Derrick Brassard and a 7th rounder to Ottawa, has been nothing but an astonishing player for the Rangers. He was a former 6th overall pick who can score goals at an elite level as he has demonstrated. Zibanejed had a career-high with 41 goals, but his season was cut short due to a Covid Outbreak.
Chris Drury and Zibanejed have discussed a contract recently that would pay him up to $10M over the course of 7-8 years, but Chris Drury and the organization know that he isn’t worth Jack Eichel type money – Jack Eichel is being paid $10M right now for comparison.
Zibanejad is a guy who can give you 20 goals in a year and be a huge threat on the powerplay with his blistering snapshot and one-timer. He showed that many times this season against the Flyers as he recorded 2 hat tricks and 6 point games in the mix, as the Rangers destroyed the Flyers in that 2 game span.
The stats say he’s an offensive threat, but the worries are that he can’t win faceoffs at a top 10 caliber center and it shows as he has consistently been under 50% throughout his career. He has been playing top minutes for the organization, but cannot win key faceoffs in big moments.
Zibanejad improved his point totals as he tallied 75 points just a season ago during his career year with the Rangers. Points aren’t everything, but as the top centermen, Zibanejad should be a big producer if you want to win – especially in the playoffs.
Finally, his contract is coming up as he was just being paid $5.35M (per CapFriendly) and is due for an extension. Zibanejad wants a lot of money, but Drury most definitely will not go to that price and will lower it, but will probably keep the terms at a 7-8 year margin.
Contract Prediction: 7 years, $8.5M
Photo: Getty Images