In a recent turn of events, the Chicago Blackhawks struck a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, notably including first-line left-winger Brandon Saad. Also heading to Columbus in the deal was forward Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta. In return, the Blackhawks received forwards Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Corey Tropp and a familiar face in Jeremy Morin. I had previously discussed Dano, Tropp and Morin, but let’s move on to Anisimov, who the Blackhawks signed to an extension Wednesday before his first season with the Blackhawks.
As you can see above, the 27-year-old Anisimov has typically played in a second-line role from 2012 through the 2014-15 season. Considering he plays center, there’s no real cause for concern with him coming in as a second-line center, as there’s no real chance he’d ever have to play first-line center on a team with Jonathan Toews. Anisimov dealt with a torn triceps this past season, although he did return to play all of Columbus’ final 36 games, seemingly without issue. He also, at 27, poses some concern in terms of locking him up to an extended deal, as 27 is usually around the age forwards peak in productivity.
Stats courtesy war-on-ice
Anisimov had a very similar per-60 assists rate as Richards in 2014-15. His even-strength Corsi-for percentage was 50.77 percent, which was actually higher than Columbus’ team average by close to 3.5 percent, suggesting he drives possession to an extent. Richards’ figure of 52.84 percent was slightly lower than the Blackhawks’ team average.
Anisimov is a two-way player, and as such was used for more defensive-zone starts than Richards or even Vermette. What is good about this is Anisimov would most likely be playing on a line centering Patrick Kane. It’s well known that defensive awareness is a hole in Kane’s game (more than made up for by offensive prowess), so having a defensively responsible player on his line should bring some comfort to the team. This is indicated as well in Anisimov’s impact on teammates’ Corsi-against rates, which suggests he is capable at shot suppression.
Da Windy City
Furthermore, about a quarter of Anisimov’s time with Columbus in 2014-15 was spent on special teams, with 11.8 percent of his shifts on the powerplay and 12.10 percent on the penalty kill. What this implies is that, should there be a need for Anisimov to fill roles on either special-teams unit, he has the experience to do so.
- Corsi: For those that are unsure of what Corsi is, it is measured as Corsi for and Corsi against. Corsi is the total number of on-ice shot attempts (on goal, missed or blocked) taken during a game/series/season. A player’s Corsi for tracks the total on-ice shot attempts a player is on the ice for. Corsi against tracks how many shot attempts the opposition records while a player is on the ice.
- CA%, Corsi against percentage (of total): What this means is they’ve totaled up the Corsi events that took place for both teams, and divided the individual team’s total by that number and multiplied it by 100 to get a percentage.
- CP60, Corsi per 60: What this means is they’ve totaled up the Corsi events that took place for both teams and divided it by 60 to get an average Corsi events per 60 minutes.
- G+/-, goal differential: The total number of goals for (GF) minus the total number of goals against (GA). If it is a positive number, the team is outscoring its opponents.
- FO%: The percentage of faceoffs won.
- OFOn%: On-ice unblocked shot attempts on goal
- OSh%: On-ice shooting percentage
- OSv%: On-ice save percentage
- PDO: On-ice save percentage + on-ice shooting percentage
- ZSO%, the amount of offensive zone starts: The larger the number, the more often a team or player starts (with a faceoff) in their offensive zone