Monday, April 11, 2011

Mika Zibanejad: Dark horse for the Florida Panthers?

A dark horse pick for Florida if Landeskog and Nugent-Hopkins are off the board when they draft is Swede Mika Zibanejad. The 6'1'' (and a half!) center only had 9 points in 26 games this year. But look past the stats. He was playing in the Swedish Elite league where most players are in their late twenties and early thirties.

A true post-lockout power forard, Zibanejad has soft hands and understands the need to bang defenders in the offensive zone.
"I try to play physical but that's only because I want the puck back. Sometimes you have to finish your checks on defensemen in order to tire them out."

"I watch Sidney Crosby for the work he does at center; I watch Alex Ovechkin for the way he scores goals and I watch Pat Kane for the way he stickhandles," he says from an NHL write up on him (

Not a bad mix. I wouldn't expect him to be taken in the top 3 but if the Panthers fall to 4 or 5 he may be their guy.

Here are some videos :

Link to Panthers Draft Discussion in Forum

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