Artemi Panarin tops the NHL Network’s list of top wingers in the game right now, which should come as no surprise to anyone who paid attention last season. Panarin was almost solely responsible for the Rangers having a full top-six that could score. He put up a career year while playing primarily with Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast, a significant accomplishment.
Panarin will again be relied upon to carry a line in the top six. His center will likely rotate between Strome and Filip Chytil, but all signs point to Kaapo Kakko being his RW this year. While reproducing his career year isn’t a fair expectation, it is expected that Panarin will at least continue producing at a point per game pace.
This is a development year for the Rangers, so Panarin’s impact goes beyond the points. Helping Kakko reach his potential is an added benefit, and an important one. It’s why Artemi Panarin is a top winger in the league. He makes others around him better.