…this is a pretty broad question haha! okay so right off the bat, from the very first game i watched him play as a blackhawk, i knew that he was a perfect fit for the team. while i enjoyed watching him play, it took me a while to get a feel for his personality and what he was like as a person. so i’m gonna just take this opportunity to talk a bit about some things i’ve learnt about him to help paint a picture of what i think he’s like:
clearly, he is a very talented hockey player. first of all, he scored in his first game as a blackhawk! and it’s absolutely no fluke, i mean:
he plays on the same line as kaner and i’m definitely not the first to say that they have very similar playing styles. some people say panarin is benefiting from being on kaner’s line and ofc he is. but kaner is benefiting too. they play some really dynamic and exciting hockey together, and i think it’s just so awesome how in-sync they are with the language barrier (panarin says they’re “on the same wavelength”). anisimov really completes the line too, being the steady center and providing the necessary net front presence while kaner and panarin
stickhandle the puck all around the ice. their no-look-passes to each other are a thing of beauty, i can say with absolutely no exaggeration.
other than playing styles, they have similar builds and similar issues that come with not having, um, the typical size of nhl players. read this quote and tell me it doesn’t sound like kaner, i dare you:
"I always thought [about my size], because all my coaches were telling me to eat more, go to the gym, gain weight. I was always eating more. I was eating everything but the silverware and the plate. All my life I’ve been kind of fighting it. Now it’s gotten to the point where I’m over it. I can play without the heavy weight and size. Those coaches that told me I couldn’t play without size, I wanted to prove they were wrong.”
also like kaner, he’s very close to his grandfather! his grandfather’s probably his biggest supporter (this is an older article from when he was playing in SKA):
“He watches every game three times and saves every note [article, piece of media/information] about me. Recently, he called my girlfriend and asked her:
‘Buy everything [all the magazines/newspapers with articles about Panarin in them] and bring them over here. He will forget to do it, so, please, you do it.’ Then he gives them away to friends, but he still collects everything.
a difference between him and kaner tho? he’s not afraid to fight :’)
while he’s playing some fantastic hockey, he’s pretty bashful and humble about it. he insists he’s not a good player – just an “okay” one. he also laughs off talk about winning the calder because he’s already had lots of experience playing in the KHL and, as he puts it, is 24 and already an “old guy”. got it.
he may not speak english well yet and hasn’t had much time to learn it properly (he’s taking lessons on skype), but he’s picking up enough to know when his interpreters are misquoting him haha! i think he’s doing very well in the blackhawks system although he had some trouble settling in chicago at first and was clearly lonely. here’s a really nice article about him finding comfort through a russian connection in chicago. ngl i really worry about him being sad and lonely after tikhonov was traded away :(
he takes pride in working hard and admitted that he was embarrassed by his play during his goalless drought in november. he has also talked about how much he respects players who work hard.
other than how well he plays, my absolute favorite thing about panarin is that he has a very cheeky sense of humor. exhibit a: he says his favorite sound is the sound of moans. this little shit. exhibit b: his favorite english phrase. exhibit c: on playing on the same line as jonny. exhibit d: seriously that little smirk before he answers should tell you everything you need to know about his sense of humor. i think it’s just awesome how his shines through despite the language barrier
so… to sum it up, what are my views on artemi panarin?
see how adoringly the people men in the stands are gazing at panarin? i am them and they are me. i think he’s wonderful – his game, his attitude and his personality – and i’m very happy we have him on the blackhawks :D