Zibanejad doesn't want to go home yet

Mika Zibanejad, the Senators' first round draft pick in 2011, is guest instructor at the annual...

Mika Zibanejad, the Senators' first round draft pick in 2011, is guest instructor at the annual Ottawa Senators hockey camp at the Bell Sensplex in Ottawa, Ont., Wedneday.


, Last Updated: 2:47 AM ET

OTTAWA - Mika Zibanejad arrived in Ottawa early for training camp.

He wouldnt mind staying awhile.

The Senators top pick in the 2011 NHL entry draft in June decided not to return to Sweden after attending an under-20 tournament with his national team in Lake Placid, N.Y., and landed in Ottawa late Sunday night.

Im really excited, said the 6-foot-1 Zibanejad. Its my first training camp so Im really looking forward to it.

I want to give the coaches a hard decision (about whether) to keep me here or send me back home. Hopefully, I can stay here in Ottawa.

Nobody is sure if Zibanejad has got what it takes to make the Senators this season, but theres an opportunity for him to be the clubs second-line centre if you look at the clubs depth chart. Getting here early isnt going to hurt his chances.

Zibanejad will attend rookie camp and is going to take part in the annual tournament for newcomers Sept. 10-13 in Oshawa.

Hes spent the past few days skating at the Bell Sensplex with local pros. Skating here should help him get at adjusted for camp.

Were going every day, (except) for the weekend, so its a good experience, said Zibanejad.

(Daniel Alfredsson) was here, (Chris) Neil and (Matt) Carkner. It was fun. Youre watching them now and youre skating with them, so its pretty cool.

Zibanejad spent last season with Djurgarden, Sweden.

(Ive) got three weeks here to give myself the best chance to make the team this year, he said.

The 18-year-old will wear No. 93 at the Sens training camp.

Its my favourite number. Its my birth year, so why not? he explained.