Future Watch: Artemi Panarin Hockey Rookie Cards, Chicago Blackhawks

Future Watch: Artemi Panarin Hockey Rookie Cards, Chicago Blackhawks – Some may wonder why the Chicago Blackhawks are such a successful organization. To win three Stanley Cups in six years, in the salary cap era is nothing short of amazing. Part of the key to their success has been great scouting.

Artemi Panarin KHL Trading CardThis past offseason the Hawks may have found a true diamond in the rough with the signing of Russian winger, Artemi Panarin. At the time, more that a few eyebrows were raised as Panarin wasn’t on the radar of many other teams.

At 23, he had back-to-back 20+ goals seasons in the KHL before signing with Chicago. Prior to that he had a nice international amateur career. He was a part of the 2010-11 World Junior Championship team that won gold, scoring the game-winning goal. For whatever the reason he went un-drafted by any NHL team.

At 5′-11″ and 170lbs, it’s taken him a few seasons to get stronger. But last night in his NHL debut, he scored a goal on a beautiful assist by linemate, Patrick Kane. Taking a tape-to-tape pass, Panarin buried a one-timer behind Rangers goalie, Henrik Lundqvist on national television, in the Hawks 3-2 home-opening loss.

You can’t equate KHL stats to NHL numbers due to several factors including rink dimensions, length of schedule and other factors However, it’s clear the fast skating Russian winger will fit well with Kane and fellow Russian, Artem Anisimov, who served as his translator as well.

For right now at least, Panarin doesn’t have any NHL licensed cards. That reality will probably change as a result of last night’s successful debut. Upper Deck has always had a keen eye for talent and very aware of player debuts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey.

Here’s a look at his first NHL goal in front of a screaming home crowd in Chicago:

Here’s a look at some of his best KHL goals:

It’s rare when a player has the instant impact that he did in his first game. Collectors are used to waiting for prospect’s cards but now they have another solid player to add to their want-lists.

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