It hasn't even come close to settling in yet. Artemi Panarin is a New York Ranger. If you told me that would ever become reality, I probably would've just laughed in your face. To acquire a top 10 winger in the NHL, it took a lot of money ($81.5 million to be exact), but trust me it will all be worth it. The craziest part in all of this is the fact that the Rangers haven't had a forward of his caliber since Jaromir Jagr had 96 points in 07'. Many will argue Marian Gaborik could be in that category, but he only had one season as a PPG player with the blueshirts.
Somehow all of Panarin's top highlight reel goals ended up against the New York Rangers, so I'm really happy he's on the good side now. His ability to skate in and out of defenders and score at will is something I haven't seen in my lifetime as a Rangers fan. Since the Henrik Lundqvist era began, it has always been him defending the crease as the superstar of the team. The Rangers failed year after year to acquire star forwards to take the spotlight off of Henrik. They always tried to do it, which I give them credit for, but the players just never panned out. Rick Nash was supposed to be what Artemi Panarin is for us today. Things happen, but this time it will be different. The Russian winger has been healthy (knock on fucking wood) and performs better every year on a consistent basis. See below.
The first line is going to go OFF with the addition of Panarin. Mika Zibanejad had a career year with 74 points in 82 games. I can only imagine how excited he is to have Panarin in a Rangers sweater. Whoever is with them on that line will benefit too, whether its Kakko or Buchnevich, their stats will get a huge boost. It is hard to believe that, more likely than not, Artemi Panarin will be on the stat sheet every night. If this video doesn't get you hyped, I don't know what will.
One last thing: Artemi Panarin has averaged 80 points in 4 NHL seasons. The New York Rangers haven’t had a player hit that mark in 10 years.
Here's your Frankie Borrelli Fun Fact of The Day