Quietly, Artemi Panarin is leading the Columbus Blue Jackets in points, regardless of the hype around his unstable future in Columbus.
Maybe it’s just because he hasn’t been scoring goals at the rate he was last season, but many Columbus Blue Jackets fans have called out Panarin for not being as invested into this team. While he has started off this season slow, remember that the entire team hasn’t been as effective as they were in previous seasons.
After not registering a point in 4 straight games from October 30th until November 6th many were calling for Panarin to be traded prematurely and while that is fair from a standpoint that Panarin most likely will not be suiting up in a Jackets sweater come 2019-2020, for that trade to go down this early in the season where the Jackets are still in a playoff position is almost unheard of.
More from Union and Blue
- Support your Columbus Blue Jackets for charity with NHL face coverings
- Columbus Blue Jackets: Finally, We Have Sweep Dreams
- Columbus Blue Jackets: Breaking the history books one game at a time
- Columbus Blue Jackets are on Cloud Nine after big Game 1 win
- NHL Playoffs: Must-Have Columbus Blue Jackets Items
Artemi Panarin so far this season has 17 points with 12 of them coming as an assist. Panarin has focused more on setting up his teams as opposed to scoring the goals himself, only having 5 on the season.
As compared to last season, Panarin has 27 goals and 55 assists, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Panarin has mostly shown up on the assist side of the score sheet early in the season.
Panarin is a free agent this upcoming offseason. That is no secret. But recall that even though he hasn’t signed a contract with the Jackets, Artemi has said himself that he does in fact want to be here, and the issue isn’t with the team as much as it is deciding his future in the National Hockey League.
As a 27-year-old superstar in the NHL, contract situations like this only come around once in a career. Panarin wants to make the right decision for his future, and the Jackets unfortunately are left in the dark until Panarin makes his decision.
As the season rolls on, it should not be a surprise to see Panarin’s name show up more on the score sheet. What he’s done quietly will help his case in contract negotiations this offseason.