Mika Zibanejad was Jeff Gorton's answer when he was asked which player needs to take a step offensively this season. (NHL Network)
Gorton said, "Mika has to go to another level offensively for us to compete for a playoff spot." (NHL Network)
Gorton added, "I think he has all the tools, at times he shown he can be a number one center, he can play against some of the better players in the league, defend and offensively push and PP is a threat, he is one guy that really jumps out to me that if he has a big year we should be competing for a playoff spot." (NHL Network)
ESPN ranked Zibanejad as the Rangers best contract and someone who can help in the rebuild.
In the past two seasons Zibanejad is averaging .66 points per game and that he has 84 points in 128 games with the Rangers.
14 of Zibanejad's 27 goals came on the PP and 7 of his 20 assists came on the PP.
Adam Rotter: If the Rangers want to make the playoffs, the first thing they need is a healthy and stellar season from Henrik Lundqvist. If the Rangers can get that, some improved team defense and an All-Star caliber season from Mika Zibanejad, the playoffs would not be that far off. If Zibanejad can stay healthy and realize the potential that he has shown throughout his time with the Rangers, the rebuild could end up going a lot quicker with him, Chris Kreider and hopefully Pavel Buchnevich and/or Jimmy Vesey leading the charge up front. We've seen some great hockey from Zibanejad but there is the issue of consistency and health and how one impacts the other. This all goes out the window if Zibanejad misses any extended amount of time. He took some big strides from his first year with the Rangers to last year and the organization has to hope that he can take another big step this year and get the rebuild started off on the right track.