Artemi Panarin’s addition boosts the entire Rangers lineup

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On July 1st, the Rangers announced the signing of Artemi Panarin to a seven-year contract. This news had been forecasted for some time now and finally came to fruition once the signing period opened.

On Tuesday, Panarin visited MSG and tried on his new threads for the upcoming season, selecting number 10.

Now that he’s signed and has selected a number, it’s time to ask the question that I’m sure many Ranger fans probably are asking themselves: “What kind of impact will Panarin have on the Rangers lineup?”

Panarin’s Impact

Signing with the Chicago Blackhawks before the 2015-16 season, Panarin immediately showed off the kind of skill and impactful play he brings to a team, as he netted 80 points along with a Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie. Here’s what The Sports Forecaster scouting report says about the newly signed Russian winger.

[Panarin] Is a supremely skilled winger who oozes creativity and is equally adept at setting up linemates and finishing off plays himself. His puck skills are off the charts and his shot is wicked. Is a true game-changing talent in the NHL. Does not have ideal size (5-11, 170 pounds) for the National Hockey League game, so he could stand to add more bulk and get physically stronger in order to continue to thrive at the highest level over an extended period of time.

The Sports Forecaster

Blessed with incredible puck handling skills and a hard, accurate shot, Panarin is a talent the Rangers could not pass on. Not only does he control the puck and score, but he is also adept at setting his linemates up for goals as well. His strong hockey mind, plus the creative skill he possesses, creates a true game-changing talent that the Rangers have not had for quite some time.

In addition, Panarin is considered a gamer. In a recent interview, current Rangers President John Davidson described the new Rangers winger as someone who can thrive in big situations.

“I think there’s something special about Panarin and the way he plays the game and the way he looks at the game and the way he thinks about the game,” Davidson said. “Just in watching him play in big spots, he just seems to love it.”

In 27 playoff games for Chicago and Columbus, Panarin has registered 26 points, including a strong playoff with Columbus, in which he helped sweep the juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning in four games. In his eleven playoff games for Columbus, he posted 11 points with five goals and six assists. Coming into next season, Panarin has totaled 320 points in 322 total NHL games. That is quite the feat for a player only four years into his career and more than justifies the contract he signed.

Along with being a supremely skilled player and being able to thrive in big situations, Panarin is the type of player who can make those around him better.

Making Others Better

The Rangers currently boast two can’t miss prospects in Vitali Kravtsov and Kaapo Kakko. New York also has budding center Mika Zibanejad. All talented in their own rights. Kakko, being the number 2 pick, lit up the World Championships and the Junior tournament before Kravtsov, who’s skill and playmaking ability is something that has given the Rangers strong depth talent wise. Zibanejad, who Newsday’s Colin Stephenson reported (shown above) will be on a line with Panarin, is fresh off an 74-point season. Mika is slowly turning into the center this team has been looking for, adding to the pot of skill this team already possesses.

Adding Panarin to the mix, allows their respective skill sets to elevate. Panarin’s finesse and elite skill will bring out the best in those players and others who play with him. Say what you want about the money and the contract he was given, the Rangers got themselves an elite player in his prime and fits exactly what the Rangers were looking for in this rebuild. Strap yourselves in everyone, it should be a fun ride.

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