Mika Zibanejad – Rangers
Mika Zibanejad inked his long-term future this week, signing an 8-year contract extension with the Rangers. New York seemed to be a top destination for Sabres forward Jack Eichel, but with talks slowly inching forward, the Rangers decided to lock up their top center.
Zibanejad had a solid 2020-21 campaign, totalling 50 points in 56 games, with 24 goals and 26 assists. He averaged 2.7 points per 60 minutes, his second best after a remarkable 3.7 in 2019-20.
The Rangers are looking to take the step into the postseason as their rebuild draws to a close, and retaining stars like Zibanejad are a big part of that future sucess. Zibanejad and the Rangers take the ice for NHL action this Wednesday.
RJ Barrett – Knicks
The Knicks got a taste of playoff action last season, albeit just five games, and the young core at MSG is hungry to improve and test a tough Eastern Conference again this season.
One of the young Knick stars eager to take the next step is RJ Barrett, who will look to build off of a fantastic sophomore season. The Canadian guard averaged an impressive 17.6 points last year and made a huge impact on the court in preseason ahead of this season.
Barrett put down 17 points against the Pacers and another 18 against the Wizards as the Knicks ran away with their first two preseason games.
RJ looks poised and determined, and he’s sure to be a vital piece of the Knicks roster as they try to recreate last year’s magic.
Lucas Bartlett – St John’s
St John’s Men’s Soccer is keeping the pressure on the Big East leaders, handing 2nd place Villanova their first conference defeat of the year and pulling closer to undefeated Georgetown.
The hero in the road victory against Nova was captain Lucas Bartlett, who scored a game-winning penalty in overtime. The senior defender played every minute of the match, helping St John’s keep their 9th clean sheet of the year.
The SJU defense is still dominating opponents, only conceding 7 goals in 12 games and keeping a goal difference of +8.