May 16th, 2015: Artemi Panarin signs a 2-year, $6.775 million contact with the Chicago Blackhawks
Initial Reaction: The Blackhawks get the “Russian “Patrick Kane.” Panarin had scored 26 goals and recorded 36 assists for 62 points with St. Petersburg SKA. Panarin was a dynamic player in the KHL who could score, but would his game translate to the NHL style of play? Panarin had a clause in his contract that if he did not make the NHL roster, he could return to Russia.
Current Assessment: Panarin has been an instant success playing with Kane and Artem Anisimov. Panarin is currently the frontrunner for the Calder Trophy. He has 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points. That puts him second on the Blackhawks in points only behind Kane, who leads the NHL.
Next: Next: Antti Raanta