Welcome to an off-season segment for your New York Rangers! It ultimately did not end the way the organization wanted it to, but there was a lot of joy and excitement to say the least. It is summer time for the Rangers, but that does not mean we cannot reminisce on the season. For this segment we will be doing report cards for each individual player. It will be nice to take a drive down memory lane and reminisce on the season each player had and how they impacted the club. Today we will look at a Mika Zibanejad off-season grade. Stayed tuned for the next edition of New York Rangers Offseason Grades.
New York Rangers Offseason Grades
Report Card: Mika Zibanejad
There are not enough words to describe how electric this player is. This year was a huge season for the superstar. Zibanejad shined the brightest on Broadway this season. He is among a list of players on this team who amazed in many ways. Ever since coming over from the Ottawa Senators, he has blossomed into an elite player. The Rangers are forever thankful as he continues to elevate his game. In fact, Zibanejad had a career year for the Rangers.
The Season He Had
When doing the New York Rangers offseason grades, you have to start here. The franchise centremen is a cornerstone piece to what the club is trying to achieve. Zibanejad finished second among Rangers in points (91) and first in goals (39). In fact, his 91 points was 17th across the entire league. In addition, his 34 power play points was 9th in the league as he made a living in the faceoff dot. His play-making ability was off the charts as he was able to have more than half of his assists primary. In addition to his playmaking ability, he had a nose for the net this season. Zibanenad generated 30.5 expected goals (37th among all forwards), and scored above his expected rate. What stood out the most about Zibanejad is his ability to generate in the high danger area. His xGoals in that area was 12.45. Zibanejad finished with a 56% Corsi For, 55.5% xGoals, and finished the year with a 49.5% faceoff win. But Zibanejad did a lot of good things for New York and was the most valuable player.
One thing that has always made Zibanejad special is his March Madness. Zibanejad went on a tear in March. He went on to score seven goals, 11 assists, and 18 points (all situations). Four of his 11 assists were primary and he even won player of the week honours. It was tremendous as it gave the Rangers a much-needed boost in the standings.
The Post Season
This is where things got a bit ugly for the superstar. After a career year in the regular season, it did not translate to the postseason. He struggled early on and did not light the lamp until Game Six. Zibanejad had just one goal, three assists, and four points. It was underwhelming for the club as they could not muster up anything against the New Jersey Devils in round one. In addition, he was not the only one and we will get to that on the next player.
This is our first of many New York Rangers offseason grades. What a special year for a special player. It may be the offseason, but it is great to reminisce about the season in general. Mika Zibanejad had a special year and a career year. He Is worthy of the “A” on his sweater and is the franchise centre for the long haul. The playoffs may have been quiet for him, but the regular season was magical.
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