Chicago Blackhawks Greatest 100- #72 Artemi Panarin
By Keith Schultz
Ok, sure I picked #72 because it was Artemi Panarin‘s number for the two years he was with the Chicago Blackhawks, but he had two of the best years to start a Chicago Blackhawks career that any Blackhawk has ever had in franchise history.
When the 2015-2016 season was about to begin, Brandon Saad had been traded away to Columbus, and the two biggest questions were how would Marko Dano and Artemi Panarin fit in with the team and would they even make the opening day roster.
The Panarin saga was bigger than Dano’s because there were rumors that if Panarin didn’t make the team out of training camp, he was heading back to Russia. Well, Dano barely played in Chicago while Panarin easily made the team even with an injury during training camp and never looked back.
came up with the
-Artemi Panarin Line and they basically set the NHL on fire in 2015-2016 from the opening night game.
Panarin was very good from the beginning, and he brought out the best in Patrick Kane. The early season favorite to win the Calder Trophy was Connor McDavid, and he probably wins it if he doesn’t suffer a broken collarbone in the middle of the season. The thing is there were much better prospects like Jack Eichel in their rookie campaign as well, but it was Panarin with 30 goals and 47 assists that won the rookie of the year.
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He was so good that he helped Patrick Kane with the Art Ross and Hart Trophy for the first time, and the first time a Chicago Blackhawk had won them since Stan Mikita won them in the late 60’s.
Panarin followed up his rookie campaign with another 30 goal season, and it also helped Kane to his second highest career point total with 89.
Of course with any player there were critics. Some would say he was one dimensional and never played defense which hurt the team during the playoffs. The second one ties into the first that he disappeared in the playoffs with only 2 goals and 6 assists in 11 playoff games.
This 72 ranking may be a little too low because of the playoff disasters, but he was a fun player to watch for two straight seasons.
So what do you think? Should Panarin be on the list?
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