Does Artemi Panarin Make Sense For The Rangers?
There has been some buzz in the 4B community on who the Rangers should gun for this upcoming summer: Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin or Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin. And while both have very convincing and tempting cases, I’m here to tell you why Panarin is the way to go for the Blueshirts.
"I do believe they have that depth now. They just need that front runner."
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 31, 2018
Artemi Panarin is a dynamic, play-making winger coming off of his first successful season with Columbus. He was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks on June 23, 2017, after the Hawks got swept by the soon-to-be Western Conference champion Nashville Predators in the 2017 first round. He won the 2016 Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie, after putting up 77 points alongside Patrick Kane’s 106-point Hart Trophy winning campaign. He followed up that season with another dominant season, scoring 74 points in the regular season.
In his premier season with the Jackets, Panarin told the Kane-loving haters off with a career high 82 points in 81 games, and a performance to lead the Blue Jackets to a second straight playoffs.
For a comparison, Tyler Seguin scored 78 points this season on a line with Jamie Benn (even if he did score 40 goals).
The Rangers have had a problem arise in their roster lately: they have no wingers. They traded away big guy Rick Nash, speedster Michael Grabner and the versatile JT Miller. After Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich, there is a big dropoff in depth; and even with those three, the depth is close to the worst in the league. Zuccarello had the most points out of those three (and the whole team), yet only had 53. Chris Kreider only played 58 games because of a blood clot. Pavel Buchnevich had only 43 points in 74 games. Jimmy Vesey and Jesper Fast are borderline second-liners at best, and after that there is nothing.
As for the centers, the Rangers have many in the pipeline, and on the team already. Mika Zibanejad would have potential to score forty goals with Panarin on his wing. Kevin Hayes would produce more with Chris Kreider on his wing. Ryan Spooner and Vlad Namestnikov would produce more. And of course, we have names such as Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson and Brett Howden on the way. With blue-chip prospects like them, there is simply no need for a more expensive center that, in my opinion, might have the same amount of points as Zibanejad.
How’s that sound?
Editor’s note: For Russell Hartman’s article on acquiring Seguin instead of Panarin, click here.