The mystery surrounding Mika Zibanejad continues.
The Ottawa Senators' first round draft choice in 2011 made a surprise appearance at the club's practice Monday afternoon and he could be in the lineup Tuesday against the Washington Capitals, but coach Paul MacLean says there are no guarantees.
Zibanejad, who is finally tasting some success with Binghamton of the American Hockey League following a season which started slow due an odd array of ailments — whiplash, impacted wisdom teeth, the flu – received a call-up Monday, with the AHL on its all-star break.
"We have an opportunity to bring him in and he has played well since he has got healthy down there," said MacLean. "We'll decide if we want to play him in a game."
Zibanejad, 19, has scored only four goals and seven assists in 23 games with Binghamton, but that's somewhat misleading. In the early going, he didn't show much of anything, but after returning from a month-long absence to deal with the above issues – at one point, there was speculation he had suffered a concussion – he has been a much improved player. During one stretch in the middle of January, he scored in three straight games and general manager Bryan Murray says "he's sort of the guy up front" in Binghamton. He has played both centre and left wing in Binghamton.
Zibanejad ready to play, but will the Senators put him in?
Ottawa Citizen | Jan 29