After being acquired by the Rangers, Zibanejad wants to ‘take the next step’ in his career

Associated Press
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The New York Rangers raised some eyebrows when they traded their leading goalscorer, Derick Brassard, to the Ottawa Senators for Mika Zibanejad (for the full trade, click here).

Zibanejad had a solid season. He scored 21 goals and 50 points with the Sens in 2015-16, but it seems like he hasn’t reached his full potential just yet.

“As far as where I am this stage of my career,  I want to take the next step,” said Zibanejad, per The Record. “I want that to be a big jump. I’ve been trying to take it step by step all the time but I think, I’m waiting and I think people are waiting, for that breakout year and that’s what I’m hoping for and that’s what I’m working towards. I feel I’m ready for that.”

The 23-year-old has put together a solid NHL career since being the sixth overall by the Sens in 2011. But it still seems like he’s lacking when it comes to consistent production.

Last season, Zibanejad would have moments where he would get hot and other times he would run ice cold. For example, in Jan. he collected points in six straight and eight of 10 games overall. Later on that month, he found himself with one goal in his next 15 contests.

“What I took with me is you’ve got to figure out a way to get out of a slump,” Zibanejad said of his time on Ottawa’s special teams. “It’ll be interesting to see where I fit in.”