Analysis

Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under: Artem Anisimov

By Mario Tirabassi
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the regular season begins in just a couple of weeks, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to improve on their early exit last season. The team kicks off training camp at Johnny’s IceHouse West in Chicago on September 23. Over the next few weeks, Blackhawk Up will give projections for the stats of each player heading into the season, based off the trend of the past three seasons, career averages and potential linemate projections. 

Artem Anisimov Hoping To Build Off Solid 2015-16 With Panarin And Kane

Heading into the 2015-16 season, not many people had extremely high expectations for Artem Anisimov. Sure, he came in as a solidified second-line center (something the Blackhawks have lacked in recent years), but as far as production went, Anisimov was looked at as a consistently average player.

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Now, place Anisimov in the middle of the emergence of Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane as the NHL’s flashiest, most dynamic duo of 2015-16, and it’s no wonder he had a career-best season.

Pretty quickly, Anisimov’s five-year, $22.75 million contract didn’t look like such a bad investment for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Looking ahead to the 2016-17 season, it’ll most likely be more of the same for Anisimov, Panarin, and Kane. Given the success of that second-line group last season, there is no doubt the Blackhawks will go again with the trio playing on the second line.

The grouping is easily the most reliable offensive option for the Blackhawks heading into next season, and Anisimov will look to be the defensive-minded cog in between the styles of Panarin and Kane.

Check it out: Chicago Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under For Richard Panik

Factors

Last Three Seasons:

  • 2013-14: 81 GP – 22g, 17a, 39Pts, -2, 16:36 TOI (with Columbus Blue Jackets)
  • 2014-15: 52 GP – 7g, 20a, 27Pts, -6, 16:23 TOI (with Columbus Blue Jackets)
  • 2015-16: 77 GP – 20g, 22a, 42Pts, +8, 18:05 TOI (with Chicago Blackhawks)

Career Average:

  • 82-game average: 18g, 23a, 41Pts, +1, 15;54 TOI

Potential Linemates:

  • Artemi Panarin – Guaranteed
  • Patrick Kane – Guaranteed
  • Marian Hossa – Outside Shot

Projection: 22G, 29A, 51Pts

If Anisimov doesn’t build on his career-best season last year, it’ll be quite the surprise. Yes, more eyes will be focused on Panarin and Kane after the seasons they put together in 2015-16, but there are no signs that any of the three will be slowing down anytime soon.

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One statistical category that could improve for Anisimov from last season is his work in the faceoff circle. In 2015-16 Anisimov recorded his career-low for faceoff percentage (44.2), although he took the most faceoffs (1,148) in a season in his career.

If Anisimov can improve on his win percentage in 2016-17, then he can give more possession time to Kane and Panarin, and that is a scary thought for the Blackhawks’ opposition.

Writer Prediction: Slightly Under

While all things point up for Anisimov and his linemates, the league is no longer going to be surprised by the skills of Panarin, and Kane will have even more attention on him as the reigning NHL MVP.

Those factors will make it more difficult to produce another career-high season for Anisimov. If he can at least match last season, it’ll mean good things for the Blackhawks. Therefore, the production projection for Anisimov is 51 points for the 2016-17 season.

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