Artemi Panarin

The New York Rangers Ink Panarin, They Are A Contender Again

featured image photo credit – Dinur Blum

Per Elliotte Friedman of Rogers Sportsnet, the New York Rangers have signed Artemi Panarin to a seven year deal worth 81.5 million. 

The New York Rangers made a splash on Day 1 of Free Agency and are now no longer in a rebuild mode. Over the course of the last few weeks, the Rangers had drafted Kaapo Kakko, acquired Adam Fox in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, traded with the Winnipeg Jets for Jacob Trouba, dealt Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres to add cap space and have now signed the top unrestricted free agent, Artemi Panarin. The Rangers are determined to chase for the Stanley Cup and their front office has done a great job in assembling a contender.

Panarin is coming off of a great campaign with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 27 year old Korkino, Russia native mustered up 28 goals and 59 assists in 79 games with the Blue Jackets last season. In addition, he posted a 54.8 corsi-for percentage and a 54.8 fenwick-for percentage. Plus, his expected goals for was considerably higher than his expected goals against. 

The Russian forward was also incredible during the Blue Jackets playoff run. He appeared in 10 games for the Blue Jackets and managed to tally 5 goals and 6 assists. Without Panarin, the Blue Jackets might not have swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in round one. 

With Panarin coming to the Rangers, he’ll more than likely play on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and fellow countryman, Pavel Buchnevich. Panarin will likely force new teammate, Chris Kreider to move to the second forward line to play alongside Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko. 

In terms of Panarin’s playing style, let’s take a look at Sean Tierney’s playing style visual. Panarin is play-maker and does whatever he can to create scoring chances. He’s primary assist machine, Panarin is highly effective in high danger situations, he can be trusted to get the puck safely into the offensive zone from the neutral zone on the regular and he’s proven to be one of the best shot contributors on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

visual from Sean Tierney, data from Corey Sznajder

With Panarin’s skill-set, he’ll make Zibanejad and Buchnevich more effective. Zibanejad is coming off of a solid season, in which he posted 74 points, but Buchnevich needs a strong bounce back season. Last season, Buchnevich played in 64 games, while posting 21 goals and 17 assists. His offensive production hasn’t been great since his debut in the 2016-17 regular season, but last season wasn’t as productive as his 2017-18 campaign. With Panarin firing lasers cross-ice to Buchnevich, perhaps he can help Buchnevich post a career high in goals next season. 

In addition, adding Panarin will likely boost the Rangers’ power-play. The Rangers power-play had a success rate of 19.4 percent (17th in the NHL). New York really needed to add a threat to their power-play rotation if they planned on making the jump from rebuilder to contender and they did just that.

All-in-all, Panarin makes the Rangers a lot stronger and will be in New York for the long haul.

stats from hockey-reference.com and Corey Sznajder

Follow Josh Tessler, the author of this post on Twitter (@JoshTessler_)

Jimmy Vesey

The New York Rangers Trade Jimmy Vesey To The Buffalo Sabres

featured image photo credit – Dinur Blum

Per Darren Dreger of TSN, the New York Rangers trade forward Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 3rd round pick in 2021.

Vesey, 26, has been rumoured to be on the move for quite a while and is already an interesting story as it is. Some may remember back in 2016, Buffalo acquired Jimmy Vesey’s rights from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 3rd round pick in 2016. However, due to the fact that a deal was not made, Vesey was ruled an unrestricted free agent and eventually signed in New York with the Rangers for a 2 year deal worth $2.275 million dollars per season.

New York’s focus for this deal was to shed another contract as the team looks to improve the roster by either means of the draft or via free agency. As of writing this post, the Rangers now have approximately $20 million dollars in cap space which could make them, big players in the free agent market to accelerate their rebuild. The Rangers are rumoured to be targeting Artemi Panarin, who is the best unrestricted free agent forward on the market. Panarin will command roughly 9-11 million and the Rangers needed to move some cap space, which meant that Vesey needed to go.

As for the Sabres, they get a solid forward to help bolster their scoring depth on a cheap one year deal. They completed a similar trade last off-season with the Pittsburgh Penguins when they acquired left-winger Connor Sheary. Again, general manager Jason Botterill is working the phones and adds another depth winger in Vesey.

Vesey will likely slot in on the Buffalo Sabres’ third line alongside Evan Rodrigues and Tage Thompson. If Vesey gets off to a hot start, Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger could decide to move him up to the second line to play with Casey Mittelstadt and Kyle Okposo. 

In the visual below (from Sean Tierney), you’ll see Vesey’s playing style mapped out. You’ll see that Vesey is great at primary assists and shot creation, but isn’t reliable in high danger situations. Plus, he’s not going to create many zone entries nor is he going to light up the score sheet. He’s just a plain depth top 9 forward, but in the right spot, he could be a top 6 forward.

visual from Sean Tierney, data from Corey Sznajder

If Vesey pans out for Buffalo, he could be a huge part of their team going forward. If not, I am sure that Jason Botterill and company could look to trading him as a rental to another team for some future assets. 

stats from hockey-reference.com and Corey Sznajder

visual from Sean Tierney

 

2019 NHL Draft: Potential Gems Part 2 – Metropolitan Division

Welcome back to my “Gems of the Draft” series.

Last time, we went over the Atlantic Division teams and took a look at one player from each team that could turn out to be a gem from the 2019 NHL Draft class. Here’s a little recap.
 
Boston Bruins – Matias Mantyviki (D)
Buffalo Sabres – Filip Cederqvist (LW)
Detroit Red Wings – Albin Grewe (LW)
Florida Panthers – Cole Schwindt (C)
Montreal Canadiens – Arsen Khisamutdinov (LW)
Ottawa Senators – Mads Sogaard (G)
Tampa Bay Lightning – Max Crozier (D)
Toronto Maple Leafs – Mikko Kokkonen (D)
 
This time, we’re going to take a look at the Metropolitan Division and see who could surprise among the Metro teams. They dominated the first round of the draft namely in the top three, with first overall pick Jack Hughes joining the New Jersey Devils and second overall pick Kaapo Kakko joining the New York Rangers. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of these under-the-radar players.

Carolina Hurricanes – Blake Murray (C, 6th Round, 183rd Overall)

The Hurricanes had a Cinderella season of sorts this past season. After entering the regular season with intentions of MAYBE qualifying for a first round appearance, they ended up advancing to the conference finals before getting swept at the hands of the Boston Bruins. With that being said, the Hurricanes still had an incredible successful season and still ended up with a solid first round pick, taking centre Ryan Suzuki at 28th overall. The Hurricanes had a very busy draft weekend, drafting 12 new prospects, and I think their gem in disguise is Blake Murray.
 
Murray had just finished off his second season with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL, and after a strong debut season that saw him put up 44 points in 57 games, he followed up with an equally successful season where he ended up with 50 points in 66 games. He’s one of the younger players in the draft, turning 18 in early July, and he has good size at 6’2 and 187lbs. The way I see it, the Hurricanes are laughing by picking up an offensively talented centre with good size in the 6th round.

Columbus Blue Jackets – Tyler Angle (C, 7th Round, 212th Overall)

http://gty.im/1152244138
 
I wish I could go off on a tangent about the Blue Jackets having a busy draft weekend and selecting a plethora of fresh young talent, but the reality is they did the exact opposite. They drafted a whopping three players over the weekend, with two of them coming in the fourth round and one of them coming in the seventh. To make my decision, I went with the latter and chose Tyler Angle as my potential gem.
 
After missing the cutoff date for the 2018 draft by 15 days, the 2000 born Angle stormed back with a strong draft season, good enough for the Jackets to take a flier on him in the seventh round. He spent this season with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and was a key part of their offense, putting up 44 points in 58 games. This was good enough for fifth on the team in scoring. Angle will likely spend another year or two in the juniors, but he could turn out to be something for the Jackets.

New Jersey Devils – Patrick Moynihan (C, 6th Round, 158th Overall)

Any Devils player from the 2019 draft class likely won’t receive too much media attention for the sole purpose that all eyes will be on Jack Hughes, who was drafted first overall by the Devils. New Jersey is now looking at a one-two punch down the middle of Hughes and Nico Hischier, which will without a doubt become a force in the Metro over the next few seasons. Granted, the lack of pressure could benefit some of the players drafted in the later rounds, and Patrick Moynihan is one of them.
 
The USNTDP produced lots of talent this year, with the Americans making up a large portion of the 2019 draft class. While Moynihan didn’t light up the USHL like some drafted higher, his totals were still impressive with a combined 68 points over 92 games with the program. The 5’10 centre is committed to Providence College of the NCAA for the forseeable future, so it will be interesting to monitor his development and see if he becomes something for the Devils.

New York Islanders – Reece Newkirk (C, 5th Round, 147th Overall)

Embed from Getty Images

In a successful first season without John Tavares leading the charge, the Islanders advanced to the second round before being swept by the Carolina Hurricanes. Slotted to pick at 23rd overall, they went slightly off the board and selected Swedish forward Simon Holmstrom. Aside from that, the Isles had a quiet draft weekend with only five picks, and out of the crop I think their gem is going to be Reece Newkirk.
 
Newkirk spent this season with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL and took a huge step in his draft season, going from 11 points in 58 games to 59 points in 68 games. He isn’t the biggest player on the ice, standing at 5’11 and 172lbs, but he’s a talented offensive player and was good enough to finish fourth on the team in scoring on the team. With the Islanders already having a plethora of offensive talent lined up in the form of Mat Barzal, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Anthony Beauvillier, Newkirk’s name could join this list in the future.

New York Rangers – Adam Edstrom (C, 6th Round, 161st Overall)

Like the Devils, the Rangers’ 2019 draft class likely won’t have to worry about too much time in the spotlight as most of the focus will be shifted to second overall pick Kaapo Kakko. The Rangers had a solid draft day that saw eight new prospects don the red white and blue, and somebody worth keeping an eye on is forward Adam Edstrom.
 
The first thing you’ll notice about Edstrom is that he’s an absolute truck on the ice, standing at 6’6 and 207lbs. He doesn’t shy away from physicality and he combines this with a knack for scoring goals, which is an impressive combination that can make coaches drool. He primarily played for Mora IK’s J20 team, putting up 16 points in 20 games, and also spent time with Mora IK of the SHL where he put up one point in 15 games. He’s under contract with Rogle BK of the SHL next season and will look to secure a full time role with the team.

Philadelphia Flyers – Egor Serdyuk (RW, 6th Round, 165th Overall)

http://gty.im/1043980536
 
The Philadelphia Flyers have arguably the best crop of young talent on the back end, with a pool consisting of Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, and Philippe Myers. They added to this crop in the first round this year, selecting defenseman Cam York at 14th overall, meaning the Flyers could arguably have the best defensive core in the NHL over the next few years. They selected seven players on draft weekend, and I have their potential gem in the person of a forward this time in Egor Serdyuk.
 
Serdyuk spent his entire career playing in his native Russia, but made the move to North America last season and spent his draft season playing for the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL where he put up 65 points in 63 games. When you get the chance to draft a player who scores at a pace above a point per game in a round as late as the sixth, you take it. The Flyers could really have something going here.

Pittsburgh Penguins – Nathan Legare (RW, 3rd Round, 74th Overall)

Embed from Getty Images

After a disappointing end to the season in 2018-19 that saw them get swept in the first round by the New York Islanders, the Penguins saw themselves at 21st overall on the draft board and used it to select forward Samuel Poulin. Like the Islanders, they only selected five players on day two but could have found themselves a gem in the third round. He goes by the name of Nathan Legare.
 
Legare could be deemed as both a gem and a steal, given that he very well could have gone earlier in the draft. But regardless, the fact that the Penguins were able to pounce on a player of Legare’s type in the third round counts as a gem of a pick for me. In his second season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL, he absolutely exploded offensively and put up a 45 goal, 87 point campaign over 68 games. He’s a gifted offensive forward and could end up being a steal for the Penguins so late in the draft.

Washington Capitals – Martin Hugo Has (D, 3rd Round, 91st Overall)

After a historic cup run in the 2017-18 season, the Washington Capitals fell victim to a first round elimination at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes. They ended up with a pick at 25th overall and used it to select forward Connor McMichael, and then used their second round pick to select first-round talent Brett Leason. This left the Capitals with two more picks over the weekend, and for their potential gem I decided to go with Martin Hugo Has.
 
Has is a 6’4 right handed Czech defenseman who spent this season playing for Tappara U20 of Finland’s junior leagues. He impressed here, putting up 16 points over 37 games. The defensive combination of size and right-handedness automatically makes you more valuable as a player, and I’m sure the Capitals had this in mind when they selected him. He’s geared up to play for Tappara’s pro team for the SM-Liiga next season, and could turn into an impressive pick for the Capitals.
 
Thanks for reading. Tune in next time where we’ll dive into the Central division and check out all of their potential gems.
 
stats from eliteprospects.com
 
New York Rangers

New York Rangers: Jacob Trouba Moving To Broadway

The New York Rangers have made a trade with the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman Jacob Trouba.

Cheveldayoff Making Another Move With NYR

Trouba will be a restricted free agent on July 1st and he hasn’t been open to signing a long-term deal in the past with Winnipeg. With Trouba’s interest levels of remaining in Winnipeg being very low, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff called his friends in Manhattan to work out a trade.

It wasn’t very long ago that the Jets made a trade with the Rangers. Prior to trade deadline, Cheveldayoff acquired Kevin Hayes from the Rangers. Hayes was added at the deadline to help provide the Jets with some centre depth, but he’s now in Philadelphia. Just to note, Hayes isn’t technically a Philadelphia Flyer just yet. He’ll be a free agent like Trouba and the Flyers had acquired his signing rights.

Who The Jets Are Getting

Per the New York Rangers twitter handle, the Rangers dealt Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Oddly enough, the Jets previously owned the pick, but coughed it up in the deadline trade for Hayes. With the trade, the Jets now have a first round pick and have five picks in total for the draft.

They also inked Pionk. Pionk has been a serviceable defenseman for the Rangers. He’s a solid 4th/5th defenseman. In the past, he’s shown to fans that he’s capable of putting up solid power-play numbers. But, he’s not spectacular in his own zone nor the neutral zone. His defensive corsi-for and his expected goals against aren’t great. 

In the visual below from Sean Tierney, you’ll see just how awful Pionk was on the Rangers’ blueline. Pionk’s break-up percentage and possession exit percentage were both quite low. He’s not a puck mover and can’t be trusted in critical situations.

visual created by Sean Tierney, data from Corey Sznajder

Jacob Trouba

Embed from Getty Images

On the flip side, Trouba is a stellar two-way defenseman. But, he’s much better in the offensive zone.

In the chart below (created by CJ Turtoro), you’ll see that Trouba was more efficient at shot contributions/60, shot assists/60 and shots/60 than Pionk. He’s also a lot better in the defensive zone as well. But, the only area where Pionk has him slightly beat is zone entries.

visual created by CJ Turtoro, data from Corey Sznajder

All-In-All

At the end of the day, this was a great trade for both sides. It’s been rumoured for a while that Trouba has no interest in playing in Winnipeg and it’s evident that Cheveldayoff gave up on his mission of making Trouba feel more at home. He was able to net his first round draft pick back and a solid depth defenseman.

For the New York Rangers, they’ve been adding young defensemen left and right. Earlier this year, they acquired Adam Fox from the Carolina Hurricanes and they are back at it again. With Trouba and Fox moving to Broadway, the Rangers defensive unit has quickly become a pretty good unit. Their opponents in the Metropolitan Division won’t have a lot of fun next season.

data from Corey Sznajder, hockey-reference.com

visuals from CJ Turtoro and Sean Tierney

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

 

 

 

Puck 77 NHL Draft Scouting Reports

We’ve compiled all of the scouting reports done by the various members of the Puck77 team for the NHL Draft here in one easy location so you can jump right to the player you want!

Our Top-12

1. 🇺🇸 Jack Hughes, C, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Jack Hughes by Tony Ferrari

2. 🇫🇮 Kaapo Kakko, RW, TPS (Liiga): Deep Dive Scouting Report of Kaapo Kakko by Tony Ferrari

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3. 🇺🇸 Alex Turcotte, C, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Alex Turcotte by Tony Ferrari

4. 🇨🇦 Bowen Byram, LHD, Vancouver Giants (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Bowen Byram by Tony Ferrari

5. 🇺🇸 Trevor Zegras, C/LW, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Trevor Zegras by Tony Ferrari

6. 🇨🇦 Dylan Cozens, C, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Dylan Cozens by Tony Ferrari

7. 🇺🇸 Cole Caufield, LW, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Cole Caufield by Tony Ferrari

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8. 🇨🇦 Kirby Dach, C, Saskatoon Blades (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Kirby Dach by Tony Ferrari

9. 🇨🇦 Alex Newhook, C, Vancouver Grizzlies (BCHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Alex Newhook by Tony Ferrari

10. 🇨🇦 Peyton Krebs, C, Kootenay/Winnipeg Ice (WHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Peyton Krebs by Tony Ferrari

11. 🇺🇸 Matthew Boldy, RW, USNTDP: Deep Dive Scouting Report on Matthew Boldy by Tony Ferrari

12. 🇷🇺 Vasili Podkolzin, RW, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL): Deep Dive Scouting Report on Vasili Podkolzin by Tony Ferrari

Other Intriguing Prospects

2019 NHL Draft: What makes Philip Tomasino such an intriguing prospect? by Spencer Loane

2019 NHL Draft Deep Dive: Arthur Kaliyev by Spencer Teixeira

NHL Draft Profile: Nolan Foote by Spencer Teixeira

Come back for more profiles as they are updated and added! Thanks for stopping by!