Blackhawks Sign KHL F Artemi Panarin

Update: On Wednesday, Artemi Panarin’s agent confirmed that the Russian sniper has indeed signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Panarin, who will turn 24 on Oct. 30, posted 26 goals with 36 assists in 54 regular season games for the KHL champions this season to lead a roster that included former NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk. He then added five goals and 15 assists in 20 playoff games. In 2013-14 he registered 20 goals and 20 assists in 51 games. In 263 career regular season games in the KHL, Panarin has scored 76 goals with 107 assists. Listed at 5-11 and 170 pounds, Hockey’s Future had the following to say about him:

“Oddly never drafted despite sporting an impressive resume, Artemi Panarin is a technically sound player with great skating abilities, an excellent nose for the net, and a magician’s hands. He has also proven to be a very clutch player.”

In his 30 Thoughts column in late March, Friedman said the following of Panarin:

“Panarin wants to play in the upcoming world championship, so he’s not coming now, but whoever gets him can sign him to a two-year, two-way, entry-level contract.”

Friedman later added the following on Twitter:

51 thoughts on “Blackhawks Sign KHL F Artemi Panarin

  1. I have never heard of this young man. How did the Hawks get his rights? Is he a Center or Winger. LH Shot or RH Shot. What’s his size. I guess I had best do my homework on this guy and the KHL for sure. Hope he is a playmaker, and it looks as if he is with those scoring stats.

  2. He was an unrestricted free agent once his season in Russia ended. The NHL and KHL don’t have a transfer agreement in place, so he probably could have signed mid season if he wanted. Because of his age he can only sign a 2 year entry level deal. He’s a left wing with a right shot. Listed at 5’11” his weight varies depending on the source. Seen everywhere from 159-170 pounds.

    Had more points and a much better +/- than Ilya Kovalchuck. That’s saying something. I don’t know what its saying, but its something.

  3. Panarin was the guy that had a monster game in the gold medal game against Canada in the 2011 world juniors scoring 2 goals.

  4. First and foremost – the Hawks have not signed him, Friedman is only posting that he “heard” the Hawks are close to signing him. He can sign with anyone.

    But, if he does sign with the Hawks it could be a major coup for the Hawks to get this guy. I’ve seen youtube highlights of Panarin and he has a very good shot – a sniper’s ability to get his shot off quickly and hit a corner. Comments from guy who has seen him play in the KHL sounds like he plays a gritty game and forechecks very well. He is supposed to be a very good skater with good hands and passing is good too.

    Now, all that still has to be translated to the NHL game to matter, so hopefully we get to see if it does with him wearing the Indianhead.

    What is also interesting is that there was an article in The Hockey News a couple months ago talking about Panarin and his KHL team mate Viktor Tikhonov coming to the NHL next season. The article speculated that the two friends may try to sign with the same team. Tikhonov is the Coyotes property right now but he becomes a UFA in July … hmmm … maybe the Hawks sign both Panarin and Tikhonov.

  5. youtube highites… FILTHY skater, sniper… This kid skates like Frolik (fast, agile,cuts and turns on a dime), and Hands like Kane.

    This will be a steal!!!!

  6. Here’s the thing : Russians often have difficult time with the culture change( understanding language, ordering dinner, getting used to their surroundings, understanding what coaches are trying to tell them etc ). This has been well documented.

    If he comes to the Hawks organization, there has to be a plan on who is going to mentor him. I remember when the Hawks were high on Igor Makarov, they had Ivan Vishnevskiy(who had been in North America for a number of years ) room with him and tutor him so to speak.

    Now we all know it did not work out but kudos to Vish for doing that.

    The question is with Panerin, who would take him under their wing ??

  7. Craig Nigrelli – Getting carried away speculation here … but really what else is there to do with the layoff between playoff rounds – who will mentor Panarin you ask. Viktor Tikhonov, his teammate on St. Petersberg. Tikhonov spent a year in the NHL with the Coyotes about 5-6 years ago, so my assumption is he speaks English and knows the US enough to be that guy for Panarin. Tikhonov would be a nice pick up too because he can play center or wing and is a good two-way player – depending on what he would cost.

    Just a thought :)

  8. Maybe times have changed but in the past Hawks never had any luck with Russian born players. Zhamnov, Krivokrasov, Mironov?etc. Language, food, climate, culture, whatever. So far not so good track record. Diamond in a raw? Time will tell.

  9. With the plunging Russian Ruble and the overall weirdness of a political turn to the darkside over there we may see more of this desire to get out of a situation. Not saying that is what is driving this but its got to be a factor for some. Not that big of a guy but certainly is talented…Ebony…read that article where Panarin and Tikhonov are big pals and want to do this together if possible. Wonder how much these guys cost considering our cap constraints and no agreement in place with the KHL. Interesting indeed. Then on the other hand, if you look up the definition of enigma in the dictionary its a picture of Russian hockey players.

  10. Ebony raptor, wow if they get Tikhonov as well that would be something.

    It would soften the blow of losing Hayes because as you mentioned Tikhonov was a coyote first rounder(rushed to the NHL for one season as a teen as I recall ).

    We shall see. I do like the fact that Stan and company are going after NCAA free agents and now Europeans. This is truly “found money”.

  11. Mining Man – it’s my understanding that the contracts of both Panarin and Tikhonov are up after the KHL season so there is not issue with KHL/NHL They are free agents and can sign anywhere they want.

    Since Panarin is undrafted and only 23, I think he would get a two-year ELC contract, whereas Tikhonov will become UFA on July 1st and be under CBA rules for free agents.

  12. Sounds like a Sharp replacement on that 3rd line…. and then possibly moves up after versteeg’s deal ends.

    Being linked to talented players is never a bad thing. From what I’ve seen, i don’t see him as a top NHL line type guy, but that type of ancillary scorer every team wants.

  13. let’s not be so quick to replace Sharp w/ a 23-year-old Russian who’s never played here.

    Baun replacing Bickell – OK. but Panarin replacing Sharp a bit premature

  14. Tab – spot on re: Sharp. He had a rough year, worst ever as a Hawk. So far in the playoffs he has raised his level of play. It will be a very different team next year, the Hawks will certainly miss Sharp for the short term for sure; one of the team leaders and consistent point producers for nearly a decade here. There’s something to be said for that. The grass is always greener.

  15. also, nice to see that Anders Nillson led the KHL goalies in gaa and shutouts in Playoffs… 6 SO’s in 20 games!!!

    based on 3 minutes of Youtube video… I am actually more excited about this kid’s skills w/ Hawks then TT…

  16. Is White Nights in Rosemont still open? I was dragged there by a friend for the Russian dinner/dance club years ago. Everyone was speaking Russian and they had bottles of Smirnoff on ever table. Memories beyond that are a little fuzzy but it seems like the perfect spot to help get him acclimated.

    Young talent on a cheap entry level contract is exactly what we are going to need next year. Stockpile as much as we can SB.

  17. Don’t despair, Gravy. I believe a little while back Tab listed a fair number of prospects over 200 lbs.

  18. I’m not saying he will “be Sharp”… my point was i think most people believe Sharp will a cap casualty.

    So as far a someone with who could come in and be a good 3rd line shooter… I think the kid could be that guy.

    I’d be assuming we get 20/19/81 and 29/2C/88… that leaves openings on the 3rd line… and potentially 2LW if/when Bicks plays like Regular Season Bicks and gets moved off the 2nd line.

    But by no means am I saying this kid will come in and have the presence Sharp has. I just see him as the “roster replacement”. I don’t think he would come to the NHL if he wasn’t on the Main Roster or if he was planned on being scratched every night… so I’d assume if he signs, Stan will insist he is in the lineup.

  19. He’s a very talented player, but its his speed that breaks down defences and creates scoring chances. At 24 and after 2 years in the KHL he is definitely ready for the NHL, the only question is this…can he/will he take the punishment? If he can, he’ll stick, as his skating alone makes him dangerous, plus he has the softest of hands.

  20. re: Ernie – nobody was overly jacked about LeBlanc; there have been questions about his skating since they signed him (I’ve NEVER been a fan). Rasmussen had a handful of teams after him and has good size but never got a good shot at the NHL roster. We don’t know if that changes in 5 months, however. All of that being said, this kid has skills that aren’t easily ignored. Helluva skater with a wicked release. We’ll see if he’s here of back in the KHL next year, but one has to assume he’ll get every chance to make the roster if he chose Chicago over other opportunities.

  21. It takes a few to get a good one. Blanc, Carey and Riemsdyk. Ras Moose, Raanta and Panarin and friend. Didn’t trade any assets. We got all of these guys by good scouting.

  22. I have no fear about next season’s team. The loss of a couple of high $ players (such as Bickell and Sharp, as the rumors go) do not take this team from contenders to mediocrity. Conversely, adding Bicks and Sharp to Edmonton (for McDavid??????) does not make them instant contenders. Oilers have 3 #1 picks on their roster.

    Will next years team be as good as this team. Maybe, maybe not, but it can be. Will the Hawks make the playoffs next year, absolutely. SB has been adding a number of pieces over the past several months in anticipation of next season. Getting down to the 50 man limit will be interesting.

    Anyway……..this season is FAR from over. Go Hawks

  23. Just saying before he crosses the pond and before we replace Sharp with him Lets remember he hasnt really done anything yet. I have no problem with his size. Size is a mentality. Look at Shaw…and look at Bickell. Kid has some sick skills, on big ice with inferior opponents. Like I said earlier, he scored more points and had a a better +/- than Kovalchuk. Kid could be a stud…Or he could be Alexander Daigle. Nobody really knows for sure.

    But I already like the kid. He knows the Hawks have depth. He’s unafraid of that (having the option of going back to Russia doesnt hurt), but sounds like he will, or is about to sign here anyway. Unlike some former prospects….

  24. It would be fun to see him on left wing next year with Teuvo at center and Kaner on the right… A very fast, skilled line…

  25. Should we be a little concerned about the Saad contract? He is a RFA and might want to go home to the pens. The Pens crapped the bed this year and might over pay for him. They have a lot of expiring contracts. I’m not sure the Hawks can afford him once the new Kane & Toews contracts kick in. As I said when they signed these deals, their cap hit is $13.8 Mil each is going to kill the hawks chances of signing anyone decent.

  26. hummm . . . maybe not so “oddly” he was not drafted? The NHL scouts especially in Canada are pretty accurate when it comes to drafting and finding real talent.

    I’d have to see him play for real in the NHL but Panarin sounds dangerously close to TnT. TnT has some upside, but it all depends on the line, the time and the team?

    Go Hawks1

  27. Certainly will be an interesting off season for us and all teams actually.. New look for everyone come Sept .. Change.. Dealing with change

  28. Scouts miss on players all the time. Look at Tyler Johnson, Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, Bobrovsky, Alex Burrows, Mark Giordano, Dan Girardi, Torrey Krug.

    Conversely, you have busts. Kyle Beach, Dylan Olsen, Jack Skille, Cam Barker…when you draft kids that are 17-20 yrs old misses happen. Maybe the kid is drafted, he’s brought over and he’s not ready, goes back and matures as a hockey player and as a human being and he’s the hottest free agent. Makes said team that let him go look silly.

    When you’re talking about scouting Russia, which for all intents and purposes is like scouting a 3rd world country, it is infinitely more difficult to find players when they don’t play major junior. Unless they’re Malkin or Ovechkin. The Russians did eventually find him and he was on their world junior team. Let’s bring the young man over now that he wants to and see what he’s made of. Let’s let the Russian stigma and past experiences go the way the early 2000s teams went.

    Were out of the hockey doldrums. Good players want to play here. Let’s see if they can play, no matter where they’re from.

  29. Out in Rockford last night for the OT Hogs series clincher. Buzz was the Blackhawks are looking (close) to adding a Euro free agent in addition to Panarin, I don’t know who or when or what position. I saw this morning Scott Powers tweeted something similar.

    Fun game in Rockford; Stephen Johns scored the OT winner about 20 seconds in on a fine individual effort. He skated in deep to the Texas zone and outraced the defender to the puck along the end boards and scored on a wrap around far side. He had a nice game, Danault had two goals and his line with McNeill and Ross was very noticeable. Both Johns and Pokka were good on defense and very active.

    Stan Bowman, Norm MacIver, Al Mcisaac and a few more all in attendance last night. Hogs will probably play Oklahoma City next round and start on the road again – not sure of the seeding but there are scheduling conflicts at the Rockford rink as I heard.

  30. Thanks for the recap Hof. I saw Ross play twice and was impressed with his energy and skill. Do you think he has a chance to make the Hawks next year?

  31. Wow lots of speculation? you tube videos, websites etc.
    The NHL is the NHL and is really no substitute for it to gauge or guess the ability of any player. Some great one go bust like Heisman Trophy winners in NFL and some average ones go boom and surprise ya.

    Ya never know . . . but . . I see “Current ” NHL franchises looking for a little more size, and weight PLUS the ICE SKILLS. 5 foot 11 and maybe 160 pounds is going to take a punishment in the NHL. Marcus is about 190 pounds and 6 foot is taking an un-human like beating. Love Marcus favorite Hawk but i do fear he’s going to get hit and not come up!

    Long story short YES you can have a few light weight 5 foot 11 speedsters that have impact but you can maybe have 2 in the line up, you can not today in 20 years YES but now the tide is still out on bigger, faster and stronger. Hawks needs some bulk even Dezi addition is a bigger plus than most know simply for his size and skating.

  32. I worry about Saad as well. There are very few good young UFAs this summer. I could see Saad getting a mid to long term offer sheet at $5mm per. I am sure SB has a plan for that.

    GT, I think 19 and 88 have cap hits of $10.5mm each, but agreed, $21mm is gonna be about 30% of the Cap.

  33. Panarin is a lotto ticket, the good thing about him is many other teams had an interest so it’s not like the Blackhawks are the only team who saw something. Same with Kyle Baun and Tanner Kero – sometimes these gambles work out and sometimes they don’t. Speaking of gambles probably not working out, Matt Carey was a scratch again for the Ice Hogs, at least I don’t think he’s injured and Kero and Alex Broadhurst have been playing ahead of him. So, it happens.

    In answer to the question above, Ross could fit as a 4th line guy, he’s a gamer and does have some hands but he’s not a top end player. He won’t hurt you out there but he’ll never score much at the NHL level in my opinion. At best a Shaw type guy.

  34. Hof- I was at the game last nite too… I wouldn’t describe John’s OT goal as “outraced the defender to the Puck along the end boards”…

    Johns picked off a weak/slow pass at center ice… and stick handled/ turned a D man inside out , twice ,,, and then wrap around goal… Just sayin…

    I have seen Johns do that at ND a few times … I am wondering if he could ever play in front of net on PP… like the old Buff days???

    Danault- was the best Hog… relentless on boards…

    Regin probably 2nd best Hog forward… Poor guy is just too weak to play NHL… but has great effort

  35. Well Wall, you saw a different play than I did then. Johns went all the way down to the end boards, outskated a guy and wrapped it in far side. But whatever. They won and Johns among others had a good game. Where did you sit, did you walk up and buy the ticket?

  36. Wall’s written version of the play is closer to what happened, Thank you very much to the huge fat guy in front of me who decided to walk in to his seats after play already started, despite having plenty of time while intermission was still on to do so. More important to BS with his buddy at the end of the aisle, who cares about inconveniencing those who paid to see the game and want to see the whole game. Walk in and out of your seats when there’s a whistle or stoppage, not during play.

    Anyway, I managed to look around this guy’s fat ass to see Johns streaking behind the net , thought I saw him just pick up the puck then and go around the far side to tuck it in. Obviously he had the puck sooner.

    And then of course the fat ass in front of me notices they scored, the game is over and now he wants to high five everyone around him while guzzling his 5th or 6th beer and probably 3rd hot dog of the evening hanging out of his mouth. Yeah, here’s a high five fat boy, thanks for making people miss part of the play because it’s so damn important YOU get to YOUR seat … never mind the people who are already seated BECAUSE THE OVERTIME HAS ALREADY STARTED.

    Anyways great play by Johns and on to the next round for the Ice Hogs

  37. probably one of the few downfalls to seeing the game live. tv makes sure you don’t miss the big plays.

    live allows you to really enjoys the sounds and smells of the rink. plus being there you can watch what you want to, plays behind the play, fights (without tv cutting away).

    i haven’t seen an icehogs game in person yet this year and probably won’t. you’re fortunate……maybe “accidentally” spill a beer on his seat next time.

  38. Hof- I bought online… 2 days earlier… sat third row up from ice where Hogs come out of tunnel…

    But I always stand above the Other teams goalie during 2nd ( and in this case OT) to see the Hawks attacking/O… I had a perfect view of the whole play right below me…
    Johns was impressive… in the 1st and third– could see Danault’s determination against the glass- he was really pissed off during scrum before his 2nd goal- Which he scored from his ass… Danault got a penalty -and ripped the other guys stick from his hands and chucked it to the glass… after that penalty — danault was furious!!!

  39. ‘quotes I read from Johns last night sound like he’s not only playing exceptionally well, but he’s loving the organization.’

    That’s what I am talking about. A True Blackhawk.

  40. Panarin has played very well in the first two WC games. He scored a nice goal in Game#1 against Norway and had 3 assists in game#2 against Slovenia. But, that was against Norway and Slovenia. Next game is against the US so it should be on TV and we should get a good look against a more quality opponent.

    Panarin’s line on his KHL team has been the best line for Russia. In the game today against Slovenia Dadonov had 2g/2a, Slipeshev had 1g/2a and Danarin had 3a.

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