Zibanejad agrees to eight-year contract extension with Rangers

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Mika Zibanejad agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the New York Rangers on Sunday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 28-year-old center could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season. 

“Since joining the team in 2016, Mika has emerged as one of the premier players in the NHL,” Rangers general manager Chris Drury said. “In addition to being a great player on the ice, Mika is an exemplary person off of the ice. We are fortunate to have him as part of our Rangers organization and are excited that he will continue his career in New York.”

Zibanejad was in the final season of a five-year contract he signed with New York on July 25, 2017. He and the Rangers had been in talks about on a long-term extension with the goal that it would be finalized this season, which New York will begin at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT).

“The focus is what I do on the ice and what I do as far as preparing for the season,” Zibanejad said Sept. 23. “I love it here. I love the direction we’re going. I’m just excited to be back. I’m excited to be on the ice again and competing with and against my teammates now for the season.”

Zibanejad, who was acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators for forward Derick Brassard on July 18, 2016, is the Rangers leader in goals (95), assists (104), points (199), shots on goal (615) and games played (195) since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Last season, Zibanejad scored 50 points (24 goals, 26 assists) in 56 games, when he was an alternate captain with defenseman Jacob Trouba and left wings Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin.

“I might not be the one standing in front of the whole group every game or every practice to talk, but I try to do my part talking one-on-one with the young guys or whatever it is,” Zibanejad said. “It’s nothing that I’m trying to think of what I should do as a leader, I have a different type of leadership than some other guys. I’m probably not the only one who is not that outspoken as a leader.”

NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen contributed to this report

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