The National Hockey League announced today that Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, which is awarded annually "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team." Panarin, who is also a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award as the "most outstanding player in the NHL" as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) in 2019-20, is the first Ranger who has been named a finalist for the award since Henrik Lundqvist in 2011-12, and he is the first Rangers skater who has been named a finalist for the award since Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06.
Panarin skated in 69 games with the Rangers this season, registering 32 goals and 63 assists for 95 points, along with a plus-36 rating and 20 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2019-20, including goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating. Panarin led the NHL in even strength points (71) and even strength assists (46) this season. Since the NHL began to track points by strength (even strength, power play, shorthanded) in 1933-34, Panarin was the fifth Ranger to lead the NHL in even strength points and the seventh Ranger to lead the NHL in even strength assists, and he was only the third Ranger to lead the NHL (or tie for the NHL lead) in both even strength points and even strength assists in the same season (Andy Bathgate - 1955-56; Jean Ratelle - 1967-68). Panarin also led the NHL in 5-on-5 points (59) and 5-on-5 assists (38) in 2019-20.
Panarin ranked second in the NHL (and led NHL forwards) in plus/minus rating, tied for second in the NHL in assists, tied for third in the NHL in points, tied for 13th in the NHL in goals, and ranked 16th in the NHL in takeaways (56) this season. He tallied a point in 54 of the 69 games he played during the 2019-20 season (including 28 multi-point games), and he also registered a point in 34 of the Rangers' 37 wins during the season. Panarin posted a plus-40 on-ice even strength goal differential in 2019-20 (he was on the ice for 89 of the Rangers' goals at even strength and was on ice for 49 of the Blueshirts' goals against at even strength during the season). He led the NHL in on-ice even strength goal differential during the season, and the plus-40 differential was tied for the sixth-best an NHL player has recorded since the league began to track the statistic in 2009-10. Panarin was on the ice for 128 of the Rangers' 233 goals in either regulation or the five-minute overtime period this season (54.9%).
Panarin was the only NHL player who recorded 95 or more points and a plus-35 rating or better this season. He was the first NHL player who registered at least 95 points and a plus-35 rating or better in the same season since 2009-10 (Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin, and Nicklas Backstrom). Panarin was also only the fourth Ranger in franchise history who recorded 95 or more points and a plus-35 rating or better in the same season in franchise history; the only other three players who have done so with the Blueshirts were the three members of the 'G-A-G Line' (Vic Hadfield, Jean Ratelle, and Rod Gilbert) during the 1971-72 season. Panarin was one of only two NHL players who recorded at least 95 points and was assessed 20 penalty minutes of fewer in 2019-20 (Leon Draisaitl). In addition, he was not assessed more than two penalty minutes in any of the 69 games he played this season. Panarin's 2019-20 season was the 40th individual season in NHL history (and the 19th by a player listed as either a left wing or a right wing) which a player registered 95 or more points while being assessed 20 or fewer penalty minutes.
Panarin's 71 even strength points this season were tied for the fourth-most by a Ranger in one season in franchise history (tied with Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06). The only Rangers who recorded more even strength points than Panarin in one season were the three members of the 'G-A-G Line' during the 1971-72 season (Ratelle - 82; Gilbert - 74; Hadfield - 72). In addition, Panarin's 46 even strength assists this season were tied for the most by a Ranger in one season in franchise history (Mark Messier - 1991-92; Wayne Gretzky - 1996-97). Panarin's 95 points this season were the 12th-most in one season by a Ranger in franchise history, and his 63 assists were tied for the 12th-most by a Ranger in one season in franchise history. Panarin's 63 assists were also the most by a left wing in one season in franchise history. He was the first Ranger who registered either 63 or more assists or 95 or more points in a season since Jaromir Jagr in 2006-07 (66 assists and 96 points). Panarin averaged 1.38 points per game this season, which was the fourth-highest points per game average in one season (min. 40 games played) in franchise history (Jean Ratelle - 1.73 in 1971-72; Jaromir Jagr - 1.50 in 2005-06; Frank Boucher - 1.48 in 1929-30).
Panarin won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year in 2015-16 and was also named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team as a member of the Blackhawks. In addition, he was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team at Left Wing in 2016-17 with Chicago.
Four Rangers have won the Hart Trophy in franchise history (Buddy O'Connor - 1947-48; Chuck Rayner - 1949-50; Andy Bathgate - 1958-59; Mark Messier - 1991-92). O'Connor and Messier each won the award in their first season with the Rangers.