The Rangers have locked up their number one center for the foreseeable future. Ever since arriving in New York, Mika Zibanejad has been fantastic for the Rangers. He can produce in any situation and can give you a crucial goal when needed. It is no surprise that the Rangers wanted to lock him up long-term with their club. They have done just that by signing Zibanejad to a mega extension.
The deal is an eight-year contract worth an average of $8.5 million per season. This seems like a fair deal for what Zibanejad’s potential each season can be, but there is some risk with the contract. The Rangers have a lot of high-end prospects that need contracts soon. They have invested heavily in their core guys by giving them massive deals in long term.
— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) October 10, 2021
Mika Zibanejad has played for two teams in his NHL career. He started his career in Ottawa where he played from 2012-2016. He was traded to the New York Rangers during the summer of 2016 in a deal that saw Derick Brassard go to Ottawa. Over these years, the Rangers clearly won that trade by a long shot.
Over his career so far, Zibanejad has put up some impressive numbers. So far, he has managed to put up 200 goals and 234 assists for 434 points in 604 career games. He is a -26 over his entire career. Zibanejad has managed to put up at least 50+ points over the last three seasons with the Rangers. This includes putting up a career-high 75 points in just 57 games during the 2019-20 season. One of the most memorable games of his career came two seasons ago when he managed to score five goals in one game against the Washington Capitals.
The contract is a risky one for the Rangers front office. While Zibanejad has the potential to be considered an elite center in this league, he tends to go on some major cold streaks throughout the season. He is also one contract on this Rangers team that is extremely high in value and term. He joins Artemi Panarin ($11,642,857 until 2025-26), Chris Kreider ($6.5 million until 2026-27), and Jacob Trouba ($8 million until 2025-26) with substantial contracts on this team.
The new deal for Mika Zibanejad expires after the 2029-30 season. Zibanejad will be 37 years old at that point in the contract. The Rangers still need to sign their young guys to big extensions in a few years. This includes Kaapo Kaako, Alexis Lafreniere, and Adam Fox. Fox just won the Norris Trophy so he is going to need a massive payday on his next contract. It will be real interesting development in how the Rangers handle their cap situation in a few years.
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