Retired Russian forward Pavel Bure says Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is the best pure goal-scorer in the NHL and that Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Artemi Panarin reminds Bure of himself at a young age, Bure writes in his debut blog for NHL.com/ru, the League's Russian language website.
Bure, who scored 437 goals and 779 points during a 12-year NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, will make regular contributions to NHL.com/ru.
"I believe, at this point, Ovechkin is the best pure goal scorer in the game," Bure said in the article. "Year after year, he continues to cement his name as one of the best of all time. What makes him unique is the unbelievable precision of his shot. Very often, goalies would have absolutely no clue where the puck would go after his shot."
Ovechkin, the captain of the Capitals, has 12 goals and 24 points this season. He passed Sergei Fedorov as the top goal-scorer among Russian-born NHL players when he scored No. 484 on Nov. 19.
As for Panarin, the 24-year-old left wing leads all rookies with 23 points, two more than Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi. He has made quite an impression on the League, and Bure, with his early-season performances.
"Panarin reminds me of myself with his size and speed," he said. "He managed to seamlessly integrate into a team that won the Stanley Cup only a few months ago. And not only that, Panarin currently ranks second in scoring on the Blackhawks behind Patrick Kane. He has everything to become a star in this League."
Kane leads the League in scoring with 38 points and has scored at least one point in 20 consecutive games.
Bure also discusses St. Louis Blues star forward Vladimir Tarasenko in his first contribution to the Russian-language site.
"To me, the fact that Tarasenko is playing on such high level at a young age is not surprising," Bure said. "I have followed him since he was a young kid and everywhere Tarasenko played, he excelled. But he hasn't scored 50 or even 40 goals yet, so he has to keep working hard and improve his game even more."
Tarasenko, 23, has 80 goals in his NHL career (203 games). He scored 37 goals in 2014-15 and has 14 goals in 24 games this season.