Fantasy Impact: The New York Rangers have signed Artemi Panarin to a seven-year contract worth $81.5 million.
The Rangers get: The leading scorer among unrestricted free agents as well as the Blue Jackets’ leading scorer over each of the last two seasons. Panarin has been a top-20 scorer in each of his four seasons in the NHL, his first two with the Blackhawks and the last two with the Blue Jackets. He has reached 70 points in each of those four seasons with a minimum of 27 goals and 43 assists each season. He has also been remarkably durable, having missed only six games in his NHL career. Panarin becomes the face of the franchise that will soon have fellow Russians Igor Shesterkin and Vitali Kravtsov alongside.
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Fantasy Players Impacted: This is a brand new team now, and a team that will be a Stanley Cup contender just as soon as prospect goalie Igor Shesterkin (our scouting report on him here) is ready to take over for King Henrik Lundqvist. With Panarin, Jacob Trouba, Kravtsov, Adam Fox (our scouting report here) and of course Kaapo Kakko (our sc