For the second time in his career, Artem Ansimov has been traded to a new city just as things were starting to click. With one year left on his three-year extension with the Blue Jackets, Columbus shipped him to the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks in a multi-player deal that included Brandon Saad.
Anisimov was first dealt to Columbus from the Rangers in 2013 that helped them land Rick Nash. After having his worst season in his first year with the Jackets, Arty responded by netting a career high 22 goals. He finished the season with 39 points, the second highest total in his career.
Anisimov missed 30 games last season due to injury and finished with 27 points. He now heads to the Windy City with one year left on his contract and will join the Hawks in their attempt to reclaim Lord Stanley’s mug.
It’ll be interesting to see whether his stay goes beyond this season and at what cost. The 27-year-old Yaroslavl native flourished in the bright of lights of New York City before landing in Columbus which is not to say he prefers big market spot light but his skill set showed a bit more in Manhattan.
He will join fellow countrymen Artemi Panarin who is set to make his NHL debut next season and could provide the youngster some guidance as he too was once a young Russian in a foreign country. The duo’s Chicago debut will mark the first time since 2007-2008 that Chicago has had at least two Russian players on the roster; Sergei Samsonov and Andrei Zyuzin being the last pair.
UPDATE: Anisimov has agreed to a five year extension worth $22.75 million which kicks in next season.