Senators return Mika Zibanejad to Djurgårdens IF

The Ottawa Senators have returned 18-year-old Mika Zibanejad to Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Elite League.

The most debated issue of this early Ottawa Senators season is no longer up for debate: The Senators have returned rookie Mika Zibanejad to Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Elite League for the 2011-12 season.

In his nine-game stint with the Senators, Zibanejad had one assist, two penalty minutes, and was -3 while playing between 11 and 15 minutes per night. He definitely appeared physically capable of playing in the NHL, but aspects of his game will need to be refined over the course of the season, particularly his puckhandling, puck control, and shooting skills.

Zibanejad had just 9P (5G, 4A) with Djurgårdens last season, but, heck, he was only 17 for much of the year. One would assume Zibanejad will become one of the go-to players for 2011-12. He's a big kid and will be one of few guys on the roster with NHL experience, and he can skate very well. Whether he will have the kind of breakout season David Rundblad has last year with Skelleftea remains to be seen, but Zibanejad certainly has the tools to be a dominant player in the Elitserien. We can also expect to see him suit up in a leadership role with Sweden's U-20 squad at the World Junior Hockey Championships this upcoming January.

Whatever happens this season, Zibanejad has shown that he's very close to being a good to very good NHL player. Another year developing in Sweden should help him get there.

UPDATE: It should also be mentioned that this move also results in Zibanejad's contract "sliding" over to next year. In effect, his entry-level contract with the Senators still carries another three seasons after this year. It may not have been a chief factor in the decision to send him back, but it was likely one of them.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Silver Seven

You must be a member of Silver Seven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Seven. You should read them.

Join Silver Seven

You must be a member of Silver Seven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Seven. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker