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Artem Anisimov – What Next?

While Dave is still harbouring some hope for this year, Jeremy and I are looking beyond it already. The draft, the future and so on…. With our obvious flaws down the middle it got me thinking of who (if anyone) on the current roster can address our needs in the spot next season.

Forget Jokinen. I held high hopes he could be an answer but he’s played himself out of any kind of contract unless he enjoys skating for a veterans minimum. Drury should be our 3rd line guy and a special teamer and Torotrella has gone on record saying he sees Dubinsky as a winger. So what now?

It leaves a rather talented kid called Artem Anisimov. Now, 10 goals and 21 points are nothing to scream about even as  a rookie until you dig deeper. The kid ranks only 15th in time on ice and thats not considering Parenteau who got a second more/game. Then I thought of someone else. In 1997 a lanky kid with a similar skill set called Joe Thornton scored a meagre 7 points in 55 rookie games for Boston and we all know how he turned out (at least in the regular season…)   Can AA be our Joe?

I like what I see in AA. He has good skills, is intelligent, has size and room for growth. Anyone who follows the Wolf Pack closely in the AHL knows what he can do. One of the msot frustrating things for me this year has been how Torts has deployed AA. When I see who has got the PP ice time, how guys like Jokinen chew up minutes and AA still gets 12/game I wonder whats going on. Torts should realise that ‘protecting’ AA in his 1st year might not be protecting his own job. Can AA do worse than Jokinen? I dont think so.

Anyone who saw AA’s goal in the Joe Louis in the pre season knows what this kid can do on the NHL stage. Will he get more minutes next year? I see a good 2nd line center and 50 points as possible in year 2…. If Torts allows it.

What do you all think? Can AA help address the Rangers center issue next year? He’d be a cheap option….

11 Responses to “Artem Anisimov – What Next?”

  1. Dave says:

    I think limiting AA’s ice time is a blessing in disguise. It lets him ease into playing in the NHL without having to worry about carrying a team and playing on a line with Gaborik.

    With them out of the playoffs, I would hope that the Rangers give him more ice time. But hey, I’ve been wrong about everything not named Ales Kotalik this year.

    • Redfish says:

      I see no reason why AA cannot become a solid 2nd line center next year, however, if he doesn’t learn to play with his head up more, he’ll never make it through an entire season as a 2nd line center. He needs mroe development but has all the tools to become a bona fide, core centerman in the NHL.

      • Dave says:

        Yup. This is exactly why limiting his ice time so he doesn’t lose confidence can be a good thing. He’s still raw potential.

  2. Tom says:

    Vinny Lecavilier didn’t have a great first season under Tortorella either, but look how he turned out.

  3. david says:

    AA can be a 2nd line player for us one day buts he got to get stronger and work on his shot

    • Dave says:

      Which is pretty much what Thornton had to do.

      • jurgenno88 says:

        I really hope they just dont mess up AA’s development. Ironically, given the mess we currently have at center, we have alot of hope at the position. With AA, Stepan and Dubinsky close to or in the team there’s a lot of young talent and guys like Carl Hagelin and Bourque (both can be centers) really developing well this year. Centre should NOT be a problem long term. Thats why i dont want them chasing a Plekanec etc, this summer.

  4. Big Frank says:

    I think you need to go to AA because you are drinking some pretty strong stuff. Artem is a European player. He will never work the boards or use his body like a Canadian Joe Thorton. I see him developing into a style more like Malkin. If he becomes half that talented I would be happy.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      Oh here we go… there’s a hole different debate. European players arent physical? wanna go tell Ovechkin that? or Johan Franzen or Holmstrom?

      Im not saying AA WILL become Joe Thornton – although Joe doesnt use his size anywhere near to full extent – but AA is already hard to move when he goes down the middle of the ice and he’s yet to fill out his frame. Thats acknowldeged throughout the NY media.

      What i was saying was that his unqiue set – skills, size, intelligence – gives him a chance to be similar to a guy like Joe.

      If we got a half Malkin out of him i too would be very happy. Delirious perhaps!

  5. Tadbro says:

    AA and Dubbi should do well next year for the Rangers as long as Torts and Sather are gone. Even Avery would be a better player with his style with proper instructions ( as soon a Avery get a penelty called against him Torts sits him down) We must let Redden and Roseval go and bring in some of our good rookies in the AHL.

  6. rob sahm says:

    i would compare aa to not thorton but a keith primeau type player i think he can be a 25 to 30 guy if torts has patience with him ..