Mika Zibanejad and the case of being a true 1C

From the kids to the leaders to Chris Kreider to the pending trades, there were many areas of interest for the Rangers this year. One of those areas that hasn’t been discussed much yet is whether or not Mika Zibanejad can hold the position of a true 1C. Through 14 games, Zibanejad has answered that call.

Zibanejad has an impressive line of 5-6-11 through those 14 games, leading the team in points and second on the team in goals. Half of those points are at even strength (2-3-5) and seven of those points are primary points. He’s also tied for the team lead in powerplay points (4) and powerplay goals (2). From a raw scoring perspective, Zibanejad has stepped up his game so far.

Zibanejad’s underlying numbers are ok, but nothing to write home about:

  • CF% – 48.28% (4th)
  • SCF% – 47.5% (8th)
  • xGF% – 48.33 (10th)
  • GF% – 50% (t-5th)

From a raw possession standpoint, Zibanejad is under 50% possession and xGF% is underwhelming. Given his scoring rates thus far, you hope that those numbers will get better. He had solid possession stats over the past few years, so this looks like a systems adjustment to me. I’d expect that to get better, but I’m an eternal optimist.

When we look at how Zibanejad impacts his teammates, it isn’t as concrete as Chris Kreider’s impact. Zibanejad certainly has positive impacts on some teammates, but there are a handful that are worse when on the ice with him. One thing we do know is that Zibanejad is on the ice for significantly more shot attempts, both for and against. Hence he’s more in the “fun” side of things. However I’d like to see these impacts get more towards the “good” side of things.

From a raw statistics standpoint, ZIbanejad has shown that he can , at least in the short term, be a viable 1C for the Rangers. He’s scoring nearly a point per game in the early going, which is certainly more than you can ask of anyone on this team. Ideally his underlyings get better, and there’s reason to believe they will, but so far he’s shown he can at least handle the load.

"Mika Zibanejad and the case of being a true 1C", 5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.

26 thoughts on “Mika Zibanejad and the case of being a true 1C

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 6:12 am

    The Rangers just need Zibanejad to hold that spot while the younger players work their way into full time NHL spots. Some are already in the nhl but most have not yet realized their full potential.
    We all are praying that Chytil or Andersson can be that player.

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Zib is fine. I don’t know the #s but it seems like he gets a lot more pts at home than on the road, so I would like to see more consistency there.

    But, he’s talented and RIGHTY, so he’s not going anywhere.

    • Nov 6, 2018 at 6:31 am

      Just looked, 7 games at home and 8 pts, 7 games on the road and 3 pts. yeah, need more consistency on the road.

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 7:55 am

    “impressive” maybe for rangers standards but league leader is a 25 points already. in fact he is tied for 79th in points. “oh theyre elite” excuse only goes so far. at some point production does matter. this idea out there that it really doesn’t is ludicrous. that being said, I think zib has 1c skill but the consistency is what holds him back.

    • Nov 6, 2018 at 10:22 am

      This ^

      Only in NYR land

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Zibaner has after burners and he can hold his own against any center in the league. No he’s not a Crosby, but players like that only come along once or twice a generation.

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Elite Offensive 1C’s are not made or developed, they are born and drafted early — so that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that Mika isn’t an elite 1C. He’s like Stepan (for a couple of years), in other words he’s a capable 1C. I don’t think anyone can really question his ability.

    • Nov 6, 2018 at 10:24 am

      He has one year where he put up over 50 points (51). Lol I guess it’s a nice claim but Stepan got the boot for being a regular 55 point player.

      • Nov 6, 2018 at 12:18 pm

        Stepan failed on the PP, where Mika excels there

        • Nov 6, 2018 at 12:28 pm

          100% false.

          Derek Stepan career PP- 31 goals, 83 assists
          Mika Zibanejad career PP- 32 goals, 42 assists.

          The more factual statement would be that Zibanejad converts more PP goals than Stepan. But Stepan has produced as effectively, if not slightly more than, Zibanejad.

          • Nov 6, 2018 at 1:06 pm

            Besides that fact, Zib is still nothing more than a 40 point player who sees a lot of ice time.

          • Nov 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm

            In how many career games?

          • Nov 6, 2018 at 3:01 pm

            Spot on John B. Zib has played in almost 200 fewer games. In all likelihood Zibby would probably pot another 16 goals and 21 assists in those games — probably more actually since at this stage in his career he’s PP Unit #1’s main man.

          • Nov 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

            Stepan has played in 610 games
            Mika has played in 423 games.
            I think we need to consider that small fact….

      • Nov 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

        That’s a pretty bad comparison (points per season) since Zib is 3 years younger and was much more injury prone than Stepan. If he plays 75 games or more for the next 3 seasons you’ll see he’s as productive as Stepan offensively.

        • Nov 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm

          Stepan was, is and always will be an overpriced mediocre player.

      • Nov 6, 2018 at 3:57 pm

        I thought Stepan got moved due to salary, contract, and return on current value?

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Zibanejad should hit 50+ points regularly if he plays 75 games in a season. He is only 25. If healthy he will be a productive player. Unlike some of the other forwards on the team, he knows his job is to shoot the puck and he does it consistently. He also wins about 50% of his faceoffs.

    • Nov 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      One timers one timers one timers. This team needs a few more guys who think that way. In the new NHL you’re either scoring through traffic or through being just a bit quicker on your release — with some accuracy of course. It’s a generalization I know, but I think there’s a basis for some truth in that statement.

      • Nov 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm

        Clark and Gorton don’t value shooting ability . only 200 ft character

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    He could easily have 3-4 more goals, he has hit the pipes more then some Colorado college students…

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Did anyone see the video of Senators Players Caught Mocking Coach. Wow! I wish they had video about AV.

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    E3 would say players don’t think that way. These kids are professionals and don’t complain when they are benched for no talent player. And players don’t read stats.

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    ZIb is good, and 1C on this team, but where do you see him in the league vs other 1C’s? I’m not sure he’s in the top 20. Compared to guys like McDavid, Crosby, Malkin, Draisitl, MacKinnon, Backstrom, Bergeron, Krejci, Scheifele, Eichel, Aho, Taveres, Matthews, Seguin Giroux, Couture, Stamkos, Toews, Perry etc. And that is the issue.

    We don’t have that legit #1 center and I am not certain we have that 1c prospect either. Will Chytil become that guy? I am not sure, although he probably has the best shot of all our prospects based on his skill set. Howden is going to be solid all around player and he should have a good long career with The Rangers. He is a #1 elite center? Maybe in the model of Bergeron. We will see about Andersson. The reality is we have a lot of good centers, we just don’t appear to have that truly elite #1 center, who’s going to be top 10 in the league.

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Zib isn’t close to being a 1c. He is a fairly high end 2c. Neither Chytil nor Anderson are going to be 1c . Anderson will be a good 3c and Chytil May turn into a good 2c. Howden looks better then both of them.

  • Nov 6, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Just a temporary placeholder.

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