The Ottawa Senators are sending first round pick Mika Zibanejad back to the Swedish Elite League.
Zibanejad, the Senators top pick, sixth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in June, had just one assist in nine games with Ottawa this season.
“We think, for the long-term development of him, to give him the opportunity to become what we believe he has a chance to become, and that is a quality NHL player, that this is the right step for him at this moment,” Senators general manager Bryan Murray told reporters today.
Instead of playing in a 10th game and starting the first year of his three-year, entry level contract, the Senators have opted to return him to Djurgarden for the duration of the season.
The Senators cannot recall him until his European season is over.