One of the Rangers leaders, both on and off the ice has been named the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner. Mika Zibanejad has now won it in back to back years and it is an honor he most definitely deserves.
Mika Zibanejad wins Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award
The following is from the Rangers press release:
The New York Rangers announced today that Mika Zibanejad has been named the winner of the 2019-20 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, presented by Northwell Health.
The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of devoted Blueshirt fan and New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986 and passed away on January 10, 2017.
Zibanejad skated in 57 games with the Rangers this season, registering 41 goals and 34 assists for 75 points, along with a plus-nine rating. He established career-highs in several categories this season, including goals, points, average ice time (21:38), game-winning goals (six), power play goals (15), power play points (27), shorthanded goals (three), shorthanded assists (two), and shorthanded points (five), and he also tied his career-high in plus/minus rating.
The 6-2, 208-pounder led the NHL (min. 10 games played) in goals per game in 2019-20 (0.72). His 0.72 goals per game average this season was the third-best by a Ranger in one season (min. 30 games played) in franchise history (Bill Cook – 0.75 in 1926-27; Jean Ratelle – 0.73 in 1971-72). In addition, Zibanejad became the fourth Ranger to lead the NHL in goals per game (min. 30 games played) in a season in franchise history (Bill Cook – 1926-27 and 1932-33; Lynn Patrick – 1941-42; Camille Henry – 1962-63). Zibanejad’s 41 goals in 2019-20 were tied for the 14th-most in one season in franchise history, and he reached the 40-goal plateau in fewer personal games (56) than any other Ranger in franchise history. He was the 20th different Ranger who posted a 40-goal season in franchise history, and his 2019-20 season was the 24th instance of a player tallying 40 or more goals in a season with the Blueshirts in franchise history. Zibanejad became the first Ranger to record 40 or more goals in a season since Rick Nash in 2014-15, and he was also the first Rangers center who tallied at least 40 goals in a season since Mark Messier in 1995-96. Zibanejad ranked fifth among NHL forwards in average ice time this season (21:38), and he was the only NHL player who averaged at least 3:30 of power play ice time per game and at least 2:30 of shorthanded ice time per game in 2019-20. He was the first NHL forward who averaged at least 3:30 of power play ice time per game and at least 2:30 of shorthanded ice time per game in the same season since Ryan Kesler in 2010-11.
From the Rangers’ first game following the NHL All-Star Break and their bye week on Jan. 31 until the end of the regular season, Zibanejad’s 23 goals and 36 points were each the most in the NHL. He registered a goal in 12 of the final 13 games of the season, tallying 17 goals over the span. Zibanejad recorded five goals, including the game-winning goal in overtime, on Mar. 5 vs. Washington; he tied the Rangers’ single-game franchise record for goals and became the second player in NHL history to have a five-goal game with the fifth goal being the game-winning goal in overtime (along with Sergei Fedorov).
Zibanejad, who also won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award last season, is the sixth Ranger who has won the award in at least two consecutive seasons (along with Adam Graves, Mark Messier, Sandy McCarthy, Ryan Callahan, and Mats Zuccarello).