Ottawa Senators trade Mika Zibanejad for Gatineau native Derick Brassard

The Ottawa Senators have dealt young forward Mika Zibanejad to the New York Rangers in exchange for 'proven' centreman Derick Brassard, a Gatineau native fresh from his best season in the NHL.

'Proven' centreman comes to Ottawa after career-high 27-goal season with Rangers

Mika Zianejad celebrates a goal against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on April 9, 2016, the final game of the Ottawa Senators' 2015-16 season. (Brian Babineau/NHLI/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators have dealt young forward Mika Zibanejad to the New York Rangers in exchange for 'proven' centreman Derick Brassard, a Gatineau native fresh from his best season in the NHL. 

Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion announced the off-season trade Monday.

"We feel that Derick provides great talent, brings leadership into our room," Dorion said during a news conference Monday afternoon. "He's someone that's played a lot of games in the NHL — more than Mika. We feel he's that left-handed centre that we've coveted for a few years."
Centre Derick Brassard led the Rangers with 27 goals last season. (Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

Left-handed centres are adept at getting pucks to right-wingers such as Mark Stone and Bobby Ryan, and that could lead to better scoring opportunities for the team, Dorion explained.

The Rangers will also get Ottawa's second-round draft pick in 2018, while Ottawa will get the Rangers' seventh-round pick.

Brassard, 28, was selected sixth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the 2006 NHL draft. He comes to Ottawa after a team-leading 27 goals with the Rangers in 2015-16.

He also had a career-high 58 points during the 2014-15 season.

Brassard 'proven,' GM says

A Gatineau native, Brassard has recorded a total of 343 points (127 goals and 216 assists) and 294 penalty minutes over 563 career NHL games. The forward also registered 44 points (18 goals and 26 assists) and 30 penalty minutes in the post-season, all with the Rangers.

Zibanejad, 23, has spent his entire NHL career with the Senators. Like Brassard, he was selected sixth overall in the 2011 draft. The Swede recorded 151 points (64 goals and 87 assists) and 64 penalty minutes over 281 games with the Senators.

"We felt Mika has great potential down the road," Dorion said. "We felt with Derick we were getting someone that's more proven, a better hockey player at this point in time. Our ultimate goal is to make the playoffs again and we think Derick's going to help us make the playoffs."

The trade also gives Brassard a chance to play in front of a hometown crowd, Dorion said. 

"We're bringing somebody back to his hometown to get a chance to play in front of his family and friends. It's definitely something that we think will motivate him. We just feel that we got a really good player here."

Zibanejad has one year left on his contract, while Brassard has three years remaining on his.