July 15, 2020

Artemi Panarin has a “leg up” on competition and thanks all the General Managers who didn’t draft him

Panarin leg kick celebration (Getty Images)

Yesterday, Artemi Panarin was nominated as a finalist for the Ted Lindsay award. He is competing against Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers.

Unlike the Hart Trophy for league MVP, which is voted on by the writers, this is voted on by the players. One could say Panarin has the “leg up” on the competition.

MacKinnon thinks Panarin is the MVP

Panarin controls puck at practice (Photo: NYR)

MacKinnon who finished this shortened season with 93 points, two less than Panarin is in the mix for both the Ted Lindsay and Hart Trophy. However if you ask him, he knows who should win it.

“I knew he was a free agent so I was kind of watching him with Columbus. What an amazing player,” MacKinnon said. “And then I watched him all season – just from talking to him, really nice guy, so maybe I’m a little biased with that – but that’s why I think he should win the Hart this year.”

The Score

The majority of hockey experts believe that Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl will take home the honors. Draisaitl put up 110 points and was the only player at the pause to break the century mark. Draisaitl plays with Connor McDavid and while Panarin has talent like Mika Zibanejad around him, it’s undeniable that he was the MVP of the Rangers this season.

Panarin thanks GMs for NOT drafting him

After practice, the Rangers leading scorer was made available via Zoom conference to the media. Always lighthearted and fun to be around he commented on his nomination for the Ted Lindsay award.

“I would like to thank all the GMs for not choosing me in the draft,” he said during a Zoom call on Tuesday. “It allowed me to choose the team where I wanted to play, that played my style of hockey and allowed me to be successful to begin with.”

Panarin via Lohud

Head coach, David Quinn had nothing but praise for his star forward. “He comes here every day with a smile on his face,” Quinn told reporters. “[He] practices with passion and enthusiasm, doesn’t have many bad days, if any at all. Guys want to be around him. He’s a great teammate.”

We are only heading into Day 3 of training camp, but the excitement around this Rangers team is building. As Mika Zibanejad recently said, “Why not us?”

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