Rangers, Mika Zibanejad agree to eight-year contract extension

New York Rangers' Artemi Panarin, left, and Mika Zibanejad celebrate the team's 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in New York. (Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via AP)

The New York Rangers and Mika Zibanejad have agreed to terms on an eight-year contract extension, the team announced Sunday.

The deal carries an average annual value of $8.5 million, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman can confirm, as first reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

“Since joining the team in 2016, Mika has emerged as one of the premier players in the NHL,” Chris Drury, president and general manager of the Rangers, said in a statement. “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.”

The 28-year-old Swede was almost a point-a-game player last season with 24 goals and 26 assists in 50 games.

Zibanejad has 283 points in 323 regular-season games since the Rangers acquired him from Ottawa in 2016. He has 434 points in 604 regular-season games with the Rangers and Senators and 19 more in the playoffs.

New York now has Zibanejad and forwards Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Barclay Goodrow signed for at least the next five seasons. Drury's next order of business could be a new contract for Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Adam Fox, who is in the final season of his entry-level deal.

The Rangers open the season Wednesday at the Washington Capitals.

-- With files from the Associated Press

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