Anisimov turning heads early in Calder debate
Tuesday September 22nd 2009, 12:44 pm

With his two highlight reel goals and solid defensive play, it’s no surprise that Artem Anisimov has turned more than a few heads among New York Rangers fans.  But the 21-year old Yaroslavl native has also caught the eye of The Hockey News’ Rory Boylen, who penned a blog this morning touting Anisimov as a potential Calder Trophy candidate as the league’s top rookie.  What’s more, according to Boylen, Anisimov has also caught the attention of at least one NHL scout, who thinks the lanky Russian center could surprise some folks in his rookie year.

When I was doing my due diligence for a “Fab Freshman” article for our annual Poolbook in the summer, I grabbed the opinions of a couple NHL scouts on which players they thought would impress the most in their inaugural run through The Circuit. Names on the list included Tavares, Nikita Filatov, Cody Hodgson, Matt Gilroy, Colin Wilson and more, but when the name Artem Anisimov came up, there was an underlining pause.

The Rangers prospect is the guy to watch out for.

“Honestly, I think he’s the best of the ones you’ve named so far,” said one scout.

“He’ll explode as a rookie if his hybrid Russian-North American game can strike a balance,” explained the scout.

Now Rangers fans just need to hope that head coach John Tortorella agrees, and that his recent comment about sending the promising youngster back the AHL (more here) was little more than a coach not wanting any of his players to feel too comfortable, and not an option that’s under serious consideration.

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9 Comments so far
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    Sadly it looks like we may never find out, as of right now ‘torts” seems to want prospal at center that puts Anisimov in competition for the fourth line with boyle, and the rangers broadcasters and beat writers have been hyping up a the partnership of boyle, brashear and voros.

    Comment by Elliot 09.22.09 @ 5:50 pm

    i will be very pissed if i have to watch someone like anisimov get panned in the press because he can’t create in 8 minutes a night of fourth line duty. there’s no reason for that. torts is an ass i’m starting to think. i don’t understand what prospal at center will really achieve.

    Comment by amos 09.22.09 @ 6:59 pm

    What, exactly, is wrong with two talented guys, who’ve already shown some real chemistry – playing 20+ minutes/game and having the opportunity to really develop that chemistry? To learn how to read one another and intuitively know what the other is going to do in certain on-ice situations? For a young 19 yr/old to have a mentor who can give him tips to get used to the ‘pro’ game and how to deal with the faster pace and bigger players?

    Imagine if they work together for a couple of months – and then come up together?

    I’m not saying I agree with the move – but I can understand the thought process behind it.

    Comment by dbmaven 09.23.09 @ 9:48 am

    Anisimov has paid his dues in the AHL. He’s done everything the organization has asked (and more) for two years. He’s proven he belongs on the roster with his play during the preseason. Send him down now and no matter how the coaching staff tries to spin it, it sends the message that it doesn’t matter what he does on the ice, the decisions were already made. It’s an absolute confidence killer.

    Grachev’s a big boy who’s already spent a season in North America and knows English as well as, if not better than Anisimov does. Anisimov’s development shouldn’t be stalled for the purpose of assisting Grachev’s.

    As for chemistry, there will be plenty of time for them to develop it. And it’s not like they’d ever be called up mid-season and immediately thrown out on the ice together in the NHL anyway.

    Comment by laurie 09.23.09 @ 12:37 pm

    Laurie – I absolutely hear you.

    My point again was – I can at least understand the line of thinking.

    Which, if you consider it – is a step in the right direction – there’s actually “thinking” that is taking place! One could argue the end result, but that’s a lot better than some of the head-scratching moves of the past that left you bewildered trying to understand what was going on….

    The end result is going to be who the top 3 centers are. If Prospal stays at center and neither Dubinsky nor Drury are moved to a wing, it’s senseless to have Anisimov play scarce minutes on the 4th line.
    That decision seems to be the main domino from which all others will fall.

    Comment by dbmaven 09.24.09 @ 9:23 am


    That is why I say move Prospal to wing as his is not a long term future with the NYR but Anisimov’s is.

    AA should not be used out of position for a one and done player so use and develop AA at his natural position otherwise you are wasting everyone’s time

    Comment by Jess 09.24.09 @ 2:48 pm

    And you say all I do is argue with you. :-P I’ve wanted Prospal on the wing since he was signed. I’m just not sure Torts is going to listen to either of us.

    Comment by laurie 09.24.09 @ 11:49 pm

    But Laurie you enjoy arguing with me on Twitter :-P

    Comment by Jess 09.26.09 @ 4:16 am

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