Sorry folks, I don't get the deal with Zibanejad. What makes him so special? People really think he will be in the Sochi squad, which I can't understand.
I've seen a lot of games with this kid and he has skill, yes. But there is so much he lacks for being that future top player. I can see him in the NHL putting up maybe 30 points a season in a few years. He needs to work very hard to achieve numbers that for example Viktor Stålberg is putting up, I'm not sure he's ready for it.
The biggest problem with him became very clear during late-season last spring, starting with his rather weak performance at the WJC. Yes, he scored that golden goal but I don't think he had a particularly good tournament behind him. He is not a player who makes other players around him better. He depends alot on other players, when he is hiding behind opponent players. If he eventually gets the puck he takes a shot but almost never convert it into a goal. In WJC his line was the "weak" line, with Rakell and W. Karlsson also struggeling. In Elitserien he was not a factor at all in a team that struggled alot and eventually got demoted to the 2nd league.
I don't mean to bash Zibanejad completely cause there are things he does well:
I'm not sure there is that much hype over Zibanejad. The fact that he scored 3-4 goals in pre-season last year and was one of the better looking skaters on the entire roster in Ottawa doesn't hurt though. The fact that sending him back was against Coach MacLean's wishes doesn't hurt either.
He's a talented kid, with solid wheels, and a solid frame. Give him time.
As far as being a DIF fan goes, every player on that roster last year that had any type of expectations disappointed heavily last season. That team was in dissaray and considering we watched that same thing go down in 2010-11 in Ottawa, we also saw how players on your roster quickly become undervalued by their own fans.
There's a discrepancy between the hype for Zibanejad in Ottawa/NA and in Sweden, I think. Being a 6th overall pick and scoring the GWG at the WJC will give him way more hype than other players who are equally good prospects as him.
I am definitely with you with many of your points up there, and drinks are on me if he makes the Sochi squad.