New York Rangers President John Davidson announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Artemi Panarin.
Panarin, 27, has skated in 322 career NHL games over four seasons (2015-16 - 2018-19) with Chicago and Columbus, registering 116 goals and 204 assists for 320 points, along with a plus-63 rating and 102 penalty minutes. He has recorded 74 or more points in every season of his NHL career. Panarin is one of three undrafted players in NHL history who have tallied at least 70 points in each of their first four seasons in the league (along with Wayne Gretzky and Peter Stastny). Since 1990-91, Panarin is one of only four NHL players who have tallied at least 74 points in each of their first four seasons in the league (along with Sergei Fedorov, Evgeni Malkin, and Alex Ovechkin). Since he entered the NHL in 2015-16, Panarin ranks eighth in the league in points, trailing only Patrick Kane, Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Blake Wheeler, Brad Marchand, and Johnny Gaudreau. In addition, Panarin ranks fourth in even strength points over his four seasons in the league (240), trailing only McDavid (270), Kane (269), and Crosby (245) in those four seasons, and his 154 even strength assists are also the third-most in the NHL over the span (McDavid - 165; Kane - 156).
The 5-11, 168-pounder won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year and was selected to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2015-16, as he registered 77 points (30 goals, 47 assists) in 80 games with Chicago. In addition, Panarin was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team at Left Wing in 2016-17, as he recorded a career-high 31 goals and tallied 74 points (31 goals, 43 assists) while playing in all 82 games with the Blackhawks. He was also named the winner of the Kharlamov Trophy as the Russian Player of the Year in 2015-16. Panarin has helped his team advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his four seasons in the NHL; he has registered 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 27 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, and he has either led his team or tied for the team lead in playoff points in three of his four years in the league.
Panarin skated in 79 games with Columbus this past season, registering 28 goals and 59 assists for 87 points, along with a plus-14 rating and 23 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2018-19, including assists, points, even strength assists (47), even strength points (69), game-winning goals (eight), and overtime goals (four). Panarin established Blue Jackets single-season records in assists and points in 2018-19, eclipsing the single-season franchise records he set in 2017-18 (55 assists and 82 points), and his four overtime goals were also a single-season franchise record. In addition, he posted 25 multi-point games during the past season, which were a career-high and the most any Blue Jacket registered in one season in franchise history (he broke Rick Nash's single-season franchise record of 24 multi-point games in 2008-09).
Panarin tied for the NHL lead in overtime goals, tied for fifth in game-winning goals, ranked 13th in assists, and tied for 17th in points during the 2018-19 season. In addition, he ranked fourth in the NHL in even strength assists (trailing only Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid, and Mitch Marner) and tied for seventh in the NHL in even strength points (tied with Sidney Crosby and John Tavares) during the past season. He led the Blue Jackets in several categories during the season, including assists and points, tied for the team lead in game-winning goals, ranked second in goals, and led team forwards in average ice time (19:51). Panarin registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 10 games during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he established playoff career-highs in games played, goals, assists, and points. He notched a point in eight of 10 playoff games in 2019, and he registered five points (two goals, three assists) in four games in the First Round against Tampa Bay while helping the Blue Jackets win their first playoff series in franchise history. Panarin's 11 points in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs were the most any Columbus player has recorded in one playoff year in franchise history. Panarin also ranked second in the NHL (min. 10 playoff games played) in points per game during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.10).
Prior to beginning his NHL career, Panarin played parts of seven seasons (2008-09 - 2014-15) in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), registering 76 goals and 107 assists for 183 points, along with a plus-30 rating in 263 games. In his final season in the KHL in 2014-15, he was named to the KHL First All-Star Team and helped SKA St. Petersburg win the Gagarin Cup as KHL Champions. Panarin tallied 62 points (26 goals, 36 assists) in 54 regular season games and 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 20 playoff contests.
Internationally, the Korkino, Russia native has represented his country in several tournaments. Most recently, Panarin registered 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in nine games while helping Russia earn a bronze medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Panarin's 13 assists in the tournament were tied for the fifth-most in one World Championship in the tournament's history and the most since Sergei Makarov recorded 14 with the Soviet Union in 1986. Panarin was selected as the Best Forward of the Tournament and was named to the Tournament All-Star Team at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, as he led all skaters in assists and points. He helped Russia earn a gold medal at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship and recorded the game-winning goal in the Gold Medal Game against Canada. In addition, Panarin has represented Russia at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the 2016 IIHF World Championship, and the 2015 IIHF World Championship. Panarin helped Russia earn a silver medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship and a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Championship. He has tallied 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) in 29 career games at the IIHF World Championship.
Panarin was originally signed by Chicago as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2015. He was acquired by Columbus from Chicago on June 23, 2017.