There was lots of talk about Russian superstar winger Artemi Panarin over the summer. There were tons of trade articles looking at his possible destinations. Of course, once the season started and some hockey games were available to talk about instead, the talks naturally slowed down.
Well, now we are a several weeks into the season, cheap new jersey devils jerseys and the future of Panarin is starting to be discussed again. The New Jersey Devils have recently been in the early conversations for these types of players. Even John Tavares to NJ believers were out there.
The Devils were in on Kevin Shattenkirk, the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes, and won the Will Butcher fiasco. Anyone who laughs at the notion that Ray Shero will make an attempt at anything big, doesn’t really pay attention.
Where would Artemi Panarin fit in with the rest of the team’s forward core? Well, he is one of the best right wings in the National Hockey League. If money were a non factor, he would fit in on every single team and make them better immediately upon his arrival. When he was in Chicago, the Patrick Kane–Artem Anisimov-Artemi Panarin line was the best line in the league. Kane won the Hart Trophy and Panarin won the Calder Trophy as Chicago had the best record in the Western Conference.
I believe the Devils are one of few teams who could basically re-create this type of chemistry for Panarin. Taylor Hall is a similar type of player to Patrick Kane. Not many wingers use speed and skill to drive offense line a centerman as well as Kane and Hall. Nico Hischier is a way better version of Anisimov as in they are centers who can use skill or grit to score and play a complete 200 foot game. A line of Hall-Hischier-Panarin would simply be one of the best lines in the league. It already is with Kyle Palmieri there, so if you were able to bump down Palmieri to another line, the team depth is already improved right there.
Panarin is elite, and the numbers prove it. In his rookie year as mentioned above, he scored 30 goals and added 47 assists to accumulate 77 points in 80 games, and he followed it with a slick 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points to end any talks of a sophomore slump in Chicago.