Breadman is worth all the dough for the Blueshirts
When Artemi Panarin signed a massive seven-year, $81.5 million contract with the New York Rangers this off-season, the fan base and organization were elated to score one of the most coveted free agents on the market. But some believed that the Rangers organization overspent on the 28-year-old left winger who was coming off of an 87 point season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording 28 goals and 59 assists. So far this season, and with the utmost admiration from Rangers fans, Panarin has earned every penny of his big-time contract, averaging a point per game in his first twelve games leading all fellow Blueshirts.
Panarin came out of the gate blazing, notching a goal and an assist in his debut at the Garden in the Rangers opening night 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets and followed up with another two point game against the Ottawa Senators in the team’s second win of the season. With six goals and six assists on the season, Panarin gives the Rangers an undeniable weapon on the left wing and although impressive young rookies like Adam Fox and Kaapo Kakko have rightfully been the talk of the town in New York, there is a lot to be said for the consistency and level of skill that Panarin brings to the team game in and game out. Simply put, Panarin makes everyone around him a better player, whether finding himself on a line with Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich or Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast.
For years, the Rangers power play has been nothing short of underwhelming, but the addition of Panarin on the first power play unit has helped the Rangers to capitalize on their opportunities and generate more offensive pressure on their power plays. Panarin has notched three of his six goals on the power play and his vision and passing accuracy continue to create chances when the Rangers are a man up on the ice.
NY State of Mind
Not only has Panarin found a rhythm on the ice, but he seems to be making himself right at home in the City of Dreams. Panarin has been active on social media, giving fans a glimpse into how the star spends his down time off the ice and doesn’t hesitate to express his gratitude to the fans for their support thus far this season. Panarin continues to shine under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, giving fans a lot to look forward to as he looks to be a major game changer the organization and fans anticipated he’d be.