Sometimes we forget just how young top NHL prospects really are. There’s a very real possibility that the scoring hero of the last world junior hockey championships — namely, Senators first round pick Mika Zibanejad — could once again be back representing Sweden come Christmas time.
Mika Zibanejad’s best day of the 2011-12 hockey season was unquestionably Jan. 5. That’s when he scored at 10:09 of overtime to give Sweden a 1-0 victory over Russia and its first gold medal in the world juniors since 1981, a huge moment in Swedish hockey history.
It’s hard to imagine now — when Daniel Alfredsson reigns as Ottawa’s Swedish-born king, with Erik Karlsson the well-heeled heir apparent — but Swedes weren’t always so prevalent among the ranks of the Ottawa Senators.