Mika Zibanejad - How good will he be? Comparisons?
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02-24-2013, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
I think Mika has been playing great the last few games after sitting for 1. And adding some offense to his game. He seems to be getting accustomed to the small ice.
My favourite part about his game is his play without the puck, causing takeaways and turnovers. So many times last night, he bumped the smaller, weaker Leaf centre off the puck in open ice using his speed to close the gap and size to cause a turnover. When he gets stronger, this will be a huge part of his game. He's not a Selke winner with his positioning, but it's pretty good for a guy so young.
What people forget is he is one of the younger players in his draft class. He could be playing in the OHL.
With a comparison to Kadri, you have to consider where Kadri was at Zibanejad's age: in junior, with a few AHL years ahead. Zibby at 19 is already in the NHL, playing well, and improving.
The guy is still a lot like a wild stallion, with so many skills. I'm enjoying watching him develop.
He's always been the biggest wild card prospect as far as being very raw, and hard to project how good he can be. I really have no idea. It wouldn't surprise me if he only became a 50 point top defensive centre. Or he could be a 70 point guy with offense. This player is hard to read. At times he looks like both.
His non-elite puck carrying skills will keep his offensive numbers from being elite. He's best playing with a puck carrier, and/or doing the give and go a lot.
The Zubrus comparision is decent, but Zibby plays with more energy, he will be a forechecking beast. I'd say he's a unique player, nobody quite like him. I think he'll end up a 60-65 point 2nd line centre who is excellent defensively, and hard to play against. A bit like Kesler or Couturier. He has a knack for spectacular, Well-timed goals also. Very exciting dynamic player to watch.
This kid is looking far from a bust. Sure, it would be nice to have the future #1 defenseman Hamilton, but at least we got a decent player. I think he could be as good as Couturier in a few years. Sean is far more of a finished product. And Couts doesn't have elite offense either. Couts will be one of the smartest players in the league, but Zib has the advantage in wheels and shot.
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