Rangers star Artemi Panarin on the verge of milestone against his first NHL team

New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin is poised to reach the 500 point milestone against his former team on Tuesday night.

Panarin is one point shy of 500 and will have a chance to reach that milestone when the New York Rangers play the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night at the United Center.

Ironically, Panarin registered his first NHL point against the New York Rangers when he was a rookie with the Blackhawks in 2015.

Panarin went undrafted

His path to the upcoming 500 point milestone was not done the traditional way.

Panarin was not drafted in the NHL entry draft like most players. Instead, he was signed by the Blackhawks in 2015 following a successful career in the KHL. He played on a line that first season with former Ranger Artem Anisimov and Chicago superstar Patrick Kane, finishing with 30 goals and 77 points (tied for ninth in the NHL) in 80 games winning the Calder Trophy as the League’s top rookie.

Following two strong seasons in Chicago, he was traded to the Columbus Bluejackets and appeared in 160 games with 169 points ( 114 assists).

artemi panarin
Dec 4, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) celebrates with his teammates after scoring in third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

He was signed as a free agent with the Rangers in July 2019 and has not slowed down. The Breadman has played in 134 games with the Blueshirts notching 179 points ( 123 assists).

Head coach Gerard Gallant has enjoyed watching Panarin play in his first season behind the Rangers bench.

“He’s been a real good player for us every night and making the big plays when we need it,” Gallant said. “He’s a lot of fun and I enjoy being around him.”

With Panarin in the Rangers lineup, the team has a record of 75-45-14. He has at least one point in 66 of those wins averaging 1.34 points per game.

That Infectious smile and skill has made everyone who plays with him a better player.

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