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 â€œFab Freshmanâ€ 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.
â€œHonestly, I think heâ€™s the best of the ones youâ€™ve named so far,â€ said one scout.
â€œHeâ€™ll explode as a rookie if his hybrid Russian-North American game can strike a balance,â€ 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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