Three players who can make or break the New York Rangers season

New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

2. Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin has one of the most expensive contracts in the entire NHL, yet he did not score a goal this past postseason. In the Rangers first round series against the New Jersey Devils, Artemi Panarin put up 15 shots on goal and only managed to register two assists.

It was actually Chris Kreider who put up a team leading six goals in the postseason, in a close series that went to seven games you can’t help but wonder how big of a difference a few goals from Panarin could have made.

Getting things done in the playoffs has been an issue for Panarin going back to his first few seasons in the NHL. Going back to 2016-17, Panarin, then a member of the Blackhawks, was swept at the hands of the Nashville Predators, Panarin registered just one assist despite putting up 74 points that season.

Flash forward to the present and the Rangers are having a similar issue with their star forward. In fact even during the Rangers electric Conference Final round, Panarin was not leading the charge. He was tied for third in 2021-22 amongst postseason points. Both Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox had more points than Panarin and he was tied with Chris Kreider.

The Rangers are paying Artemi Panarin a lot of money to be the face of this franchise. He is the highest paid player on this team for a reason, yet when it finally comes down to it Panarin has not been able to lead the team when it matters most, in the playoffs.