He’s got one of the hardest names in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft to pronounce. So feel free to just call Mika Zibanejad a first round pick.
The slick skating sensation has moved swiftly up the draft charts all season and could be the second Swede selected on June 25th in Minnesota, behind top-ranked defenseman Adam Larsson. An honourable mention heading into the season eight months ago, the six-foot-two, 185-pound right-handed centre is now knocking on the door to becoming a top-10 pick.
Currently ranked 11th, Zibanejad has been slotted as low as 55th overall in December. After a quick start to the season and an impressive World Under-17 tournament where he scored five goals and nine points in six games, the freshly turned 18-year-old established himself as a sure-fire first rounder by February and a potential top-10 pick in June.
Future Considerations’ chief scout Dan Stewart likes what he sees from the Swede.
“Zibanejad is a slick skating puck handler who sees the ice well, can both set-up his lines mates with a well times pass and possesses a good shot which allows him to be a duel threat,” Stewart said. “He, like many other Swedish forwards before him, plays with a strong sense of defensive awareness and is efficient in all three zones.”
And with a scouting report like that, Zibanejad will be music to one NHL team’s ears.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!