Mika Zibanejad said recently that he wants to be the player that he is expected to be and contribute as much as he can. (Hockey Sverige)
This season Zibanejad leads the Rangers with 18 points in 18 games, 10 of which have come on the PP.
Zibanejad is averaging 18:31 per game and is winning 53% of faceoffs.
From the Rangers, "Zibanejad has recorded a point in seven of the last nine games, registering 12 points (three goals, nine assists) over the span. Among NHL players 24 years old or younger, Zibanejad ranks seventh in points in 2017-18, trailing only Nikita Kucherov, Johnny Gaudreau, Mark Scheifele, Jonathan Huberdeau, Auston Matthews, and Connor McDavid."
Alain Vigneault said on Tuesday that he likes how Zibanejad has handled his expanded role and said that he has been working hard and putting in extra time.
Vigneault added that Zibanejad wants to be on the ice in all situations and that "you can really sense that he wants to be the best that he can be.
On his role on the PP, Vigneault said that Zibanejad has been "more effective" than he has been in the past and is using his shot and making some "high level plays" with the puck.
Adam Rotter: 18 games into his new role as number one center and Mika Zibanejad has certainly met the expectations set out for him, probably even exceeding them. He's a point per game player, has been fantastic on the PP and has fantastic chemistry with Pavel Buchnevich. It's so far so good for Zibanejad and the Rangers have to be very happy about that.