April 8, 2021

New York Rangers: Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox deserve serious consideration for NHL Awards this season

Jan 22, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) celebrates his goal with New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG Paints Arena. Pittsburgh won 4-3 in a shoot-out. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Artemi Panarin put on a tour de force in his first season on Broadway. He skilled his way to 95 points in just 69 games and pushed the Rangers into the 24 team Return-To-Play Qualifiers. That was good enough for consideration for the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay award.

When it was all said and done, Leon Draisaitl took both awards. That shouldn’t be the case this season.

Artemi Panarin for Hart Trophy (MVP)

artemi panarin hart
Mar 30, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) celebrates his third period goal against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

This season Artemi Panarin has 40 points in 27 games, which is good for a 1.48 points per game average. While that may be a far cry from Connor McDavid’s 68 points it’s really isn’t. Had Panarin not missed 11 games this season due to an injury and a leave of absence he would likely have around 57 points. However; this isn’t just about points because there’s already an award for that known as the Art Ross Trophy.

The MVP is about the most valuable player to his team and the time last I checked Panarin doesn’t have a McDavid or Draisaitl opposite him. Since he returned from his leave; Panarin has notched seven goals and 15 helpers for 22 points. He’s also a +13 and been on the ice for 30 of the Rangers 57 goals in that span. Throw in the fact that he’s the only NHL player with 40 or more points to be assessed two or less penalty minutes this season. That’s astonishing considering just how much he’s on the ice and how good he is defensively.

Just before Panarin returned to the lineup on March 13th, the Rangers had lost three in a row. They are now 8-3-2 with him back in the lineup and hunting for a playoff spot. If the Blueshirts make it in there’s no doubt who should win the Hart Trophy in my mind. It would also correct a wrong from last season as well.

Note: Some stats courtesy NYR

Adam Fox for Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman)

adam fox norris
Mar 30, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) celebrates his go ahead goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Fox is now tied with Victor Hedman for most points among defensemen. However, the Rangers sophomore has inserted himself firmly into the Norris Trophy consideration for best defenseman in the NHL. Per NYR Stats and Info; he is the only defenseman averaging a least 4 minutes of PP time and 2 minutes of SH time this season. Fox is also tied for most power play points by a defensemen with 20 and and power play assists with 18.

The 23 year-old rearguard is currently riding an 11 game point streak with 3 goals and 21 points. His 36 points in 37 games are even better than you think as his 31 assists in tops among all defenseman which is a testament to his incredible on-ice vision.

Defensively Fox shines as well. He currently ranks second on the PK with a 3.90 PPG against per 60 minutes. He’s third for takeaways among blue-liners with 25. These are excellent numbers and his play on the ice has been turning heads around the league. If he continues at this pace he’s not just a candidate; he’s the favorite to win the Norris.

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