Free Agency has begun in the NHL and the waves of trades and signings have flooded in. With the New York Rangers being in the middle of a rebuild, the team was seen as front runners for signing a big name.

After signing notable prospects and making good picks in this year’s draft, the Rangers had one thing left to do. This past Monday, the Rangers announced that they signed free agent Artemi Panarin.

It seemed to be a close call between the Rangers and their rival, the New York Islanders. While the Islanders were willing to give more money, Panarin signed with the Rangers instead on a 7-year deal, $11.6 million AAV.

This signing is huge for the Rangers. It brings in a player who has the experience but is still young and can contribute a lot to the team. Artemi Panarin is a 27 year old Russian, standing at 5’11 and 168lbs. He played in Chicago for two years and in Columbus for  another two as a left wing player. In 322 games, Panarin has scored 116 goals and has 204 assists making 320 points. Last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Panarin had 87 points in 79 games.

In his rookie year, Panarin won the Calder Trophy. The rookie of the year had 3o goals and 47 assists in his first year. Since then, Panarin has been a stand out player and could really help the Rangers have a speedy rebuild. The playmaking ability that Artemi Panarin has will make the team a lot better, but there is still a lot more to expect from the Breadman. The majority of his goals are one-timers, meaning that players have a hard time defending him and he could be the goal scorer this team needs.

Adding Panarin also creates a ton of possible line combinations and power play options where he could work with other strong players like Mika Zibanejad. This signing adds a player that has a lot of skill and that can make this rebuilding team a playoff contender.

Featured Image: New York Rangers/NHL 
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